PREBLE COUNTY — In remembrance of those touched by violent crime, Preble County Victim Witness officials held the annual candlelight ceremony on Tuesday, April 12, as part of the area’s recognition of Crime Victim Rights Week. Four names were added to memorial tree, bringing the total number of victims to 56.
“This week and especially this evening, we recognize and remember victims of crime in Preble County,” Sheriff Mike Simpson said.
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 was April 10-16, and the theme — Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope — presented 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.
“Each and every day the criminal justice community comes face to face with someone who has been victimized,” Simpson said. “We see the toll that it and can on our citizens. We see the financial, the physical and emotional wounds these crimes leave on individuals and their families. Tonight, we are here to support each of you and your loved ones who have been directly and indirectly affected by these senseless acts. Tonight, as the criminal justice community, we recommit ourselves and promise to all of our victims to treat you with compassion and dignity, to work for your and walk beside you in each and every step of this what can sometimes seem like an ever lasting journey.”
During the nearly hou-long ceremony Commissioner Rodney Creech read a proclamation from the commission office proclaiming last week National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in the county.
Family members of several victims spoke about their loved ones whose lives were taken due to acts of crimes.
Preble County observes 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.
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.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.