April 18th-24th is National Crime Victim’s Rights Week. Started in 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) has brought much needed attention to the victims of crime, their families and the professionals who serve them.
Domestic violence is a crime, as we all know. This week of recognition and support to crime victims is very important to Hope House as a way to honor and recognize the journey of all of those who have been impacted by crime.
This year’s theme—“Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect”, are themes that we at Hope House work toward every day. We work to ensure that every victim that comes into our services feels they have been treated with fairness, dignity and respect, from us as a service provider.
These are fundamental rights that everyone should have but especially those who have been traumatized and victimized. This week is an opportunity for the nation to reflect on those who have been victimized and work to address disparities in the system to ensure that the victimization doesn’t continue as they begin the process of recovery.
In Eastern Jackson County we are fortunate to work with dedicated and caring professionals such as:
1) Law enforcement, who work to apprehend and charge the perpetrator.
2) The prosecutor, who works to ensure justice through the court process.
3) The health care professional who is working to heal physical injuries.
Each of them have the goal of providing quality, competent services to victims and to work to start the healing process and the road to recovery. It is our priority to put the crime victim’s needs first, to address their needs holistically and to ensure recovery from the victimization.
On our campuses we have visual and daily reminders of the thoughtfulness of others during NCVRW. We have a beautiful water garden where clients can sit, reflect and work toward recovery. That garden started out as a bird bath, but through the work of dedicated individuals and the generosity of many, it now brings beauty to the campus and honors those who have been victims of crime. Every time I see it, I am reminded of the work we do and the commitment and caring of others who made the garden a possibility and made the healing journey one of beauty and peace.
I invite you to take time during this week to reflect on the journey that crime victim’s must make and look for ways to get involved and to help make that journey a bit easier. You can visit our website http://www.hopehouse.net/ or for resource guides specific to crime victim’s week visit http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw or http://www.ncvc.org/.