Victims’ Rights Week

By Eddie Mowen Jr. -

PREBLE COUNTY — In remembrance of those touched by violent crime, Preble County Victim Witness officials will hold the annual candlelight ceremony on Tuesday, April 12, as part of the area’s recognition of Crime Victim Rights Week.

The ceremony, held at the Preble Courthouse, will begin at 7 p.m.

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) helps lead communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) every April by promoting victims’ rights, and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.

This year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be held April 10-16, and the theme — Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope — presents the opportunity to highlight the importance of providing needed services at the earliest stage of victimization. Early intervention helps prevent both further victimization and involvement in the criminal justice system, thus addressing the cycle of violence and restoring hope for the future.

Preble County will observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with special programs including the candlelight ceremony, and will hold the annual 5K/1K Walk/Run on Oct. 12.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week honors and celebrates the achievements of the past 30 years in securing rights, protections, and services for victims. The bipartisan Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), passed by Congress in 1984, created a national fund to ease victims’ suffering. Financed by fines and penalties paid by offenders, the Crime Victims Fund supports services for victims of all types of crime, including assistance for homicide survivors, survivors of child sexual abuse and victims of human trafficking as well as rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs. VOCA also funds victim compensation programs that pay victims’ out-of-pocket expenses such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

“If victims are to trust that the criminal justice system will work for them, we must meet them where they are—physically, culturally, and emotionally,” said Joye E. Frost, Director, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), U.S. Department of Justice. “When we take the time to focus on the victim in the aftermath of crime—to address their needs for safety and justice—we can begin to build trust and restore the hope of those victims and their communities. We all play a role in helping victims as they rebuild their lives.”

OVC encourages widespread participation in the week’s events and in other victim-related observances throughout the year. The U.S. Department of Justice will host OVC’s annual Service Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 12, in Washington, DC, to honor outstanding individuals and programs that serve victims of crime. For additional information about this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and how to assist victims in Preble County, contact Preble County Victim Witness at their office located at 123 S. Cherry Street in Eaton.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.