St. John Neumann Parish member Patricia Wenskunas, founder and CEO of Crime Survivors, Inc., has been named chair of the Diocesan Domestic Violence Committee.

Wenskunas, an Irvine resident who belongs to the parish’s Crime Survivors Support Group, is passionate about serving victims of violence and crime. That passion has its roots in her own experience as a victim of violent crime.

“I feel that the reason I’m not a victim is because I ultimately was able to break the cycle of violence through my faith,” Wenskunas says. “Today I’m a survivor and proud of that.” Her organization was founded in 2003 and now offers 22 programs on awareness, prevention, survival and healing.

“We are positive that Patricia will be a true gift to this committee, helping steer us forward so we can have a greater outreach and influence in the Diocese of Orange,” says Michael P. Donaldson, director of the Office of Pastoral Care for Families in All Stages.

The Diocesan Domestic Violence Committee meets monthly and includes pastors, parishioners, church and community representatives who establish partnerships to serve victims, their families and the community.

“With faith there is hope,” she says. “In 2016 we are still in a time where we put blame and shame on victims. I ask people to support victims and help break the cycle of violence.”