Crime Victims Rights Week: Out of the Ashes Tragedy - One Violent Crime Victim is Making a Difference

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She has been called the modern day Patty Hearst, the new Erin Brockovich and even the voice for victims during this week that is known as National Crime Victims Rights Week. You may not remember her name, but you will remember the story that gripped the community, garnished national attention and stunned us all. Imagine being kidnapped by three masked gunmen breaking down your door in the dark of night, forcing you violently to the floor, taping you with duct and putting bombs on your body. As if that wasn’t more trauma than anyone should ever endure, now imagine it happening to your seven-year-old daughter too. Fourteen hours of torment followed, escalating to one of the largest bank heists in California history as Michelle Renee was forced to take $360,000 from the vault of the bank she managed or her and her young daughter would be murdered.

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Since the horrific violent crime four years ago, Michelle Renee has founded the Victims Of Work-Related (VOW) Violent Crime Foundation. The Foundation has recently assisted violent crime victims as far reaching as Florida, building a referral network Nation wide for victims to receive the most effective treatment possible for their violent crime related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The victim in Florida sent these words to Michelle, “I can finally see light at the end of a very dark tunnel because of you and I feel the transformation already beginning. Thank you.” Michelle provides one on one victim recovery coaching, a “life coaching” technique specifically designed by Michelle for violent crime victims. The Foundation incorporates crime victim recovery and PTSD awareness efforts with youth leadership development programs, including Girls Against Crime, which positively impact our youth and encourage non-violent communication and the “say no to violent crime” message.

There has been new proposed legislation, Crime Victims Integrity Bill, introduced by Michelle to lawmakers in Sacramento and the California District Attorneys Association. She has been the keynote speaker for the NYPD, Rotary Clubs, crime targeted industry leaders and University criminal justice departments. She hopes to soon be releasing her books, Shattered Door and Fear, Fear Go Away. From Michelle and her daughter we can all learn how, out of the ashes of a tragic situation, we can become stronger and better than ever. But if you ask Michelle about her unbelievable accomplishments after such a violent ordeal she will simply say, “I am following the call on my life to make a positive difference and be the best role model I can be for my daughter.”

To learn more about Michelle’s seminars Beyond Blame-The Possibilities Are Endless and Be Your Kids Hero-Raising Them With Purpose, log onto our website at or

Michelle is available for interviews.

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Dave Estey, Jr.
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