PREBLE COUNTY — In commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 2-9, Preble County Victim Witness Program will be holding the annual Victim’s Rights Candlelight Ceremony on Tuesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Preble County Courthouse.
During the ceremony, the name of each victim who has lost his or her life due to crime will be announced. As the person’s name is called, family members or loved ones of the person are encouraged to stand on their behalf. Preble County Victim Witness Program strongly encourages family members to attend the ceremony and acknowledge their loved ones.
Because this is a memorial ceremony, the program is encouraging families to bring a picture of their loved ones to hold as they stand in their memory. There will also be time set aside during the ceremony for anyone to come forward and speak of their loved ones — share a favorite story or memory, or share what that loved one meant to you, or maybe about their life and accomplishments before the crime.
In the years past, Preble County Victim Witness Program have kicked off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a 5K and 1K walk/run. Due to bad weather in previous years, the organization has chosen to move their NCVRW 5K and 1K to Sunday, Sept. 24. This is the only change the organization has made to the annual event.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is intended to raise awareness about crime victims’ issues and rights and to introduce the community to the important resources and services available. Last year, over 5 million individuals were a victim of a crime, and there were nearly 15 million property victimization’s, according to the 2015 National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) of the U.S. Department of Justice leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme: Strength. Resilience. Justice. — emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary responses and building the capacity of individuals, service providers, and communities to respond to crime and support the on going healing of victims and survivors. The theme also supports OVC’s Vision 21 Initiative to encourage research, address emerging issues, and build the capacity of victim service organization by increasing the use of technology and training.
OVC and Preble County Victim Witness Program encourage 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 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony 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 this community, contact Preble County Victim Witness Program at 937-456-9110.