Victim's week to celebrate rebuilding lives

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 26-May 2 is National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The year's theme, "25 Years of Rebuilding Lives: Celebrating the Victims of Crime Act," provides an opportunity for our country to recognize the Victims of Crime Act as a major bedrock of support for victim services and to reaffirm our nation's commitment to addressing the needs of victims of crime.

Local spokesperson, Martha Sander, Executive Director of Council on Families in Crisis, notes that justice is continually served in Bates County through victim assistance programs that identify and address the immediate-, short-, and long-term needs of crime victims and survivors. In addition, victim assistance programs help Americans to reflect on the cost of crime to our society, and promote laws, policies, and programs to help victims of crime. "Anyone who is victimized by crime can receive information about their rights, and the many services available to assist them," Sander said. "If you or someone you know is a victim of crime, we can help. Or if you'd like to volunteer for victims, many opportunities are available."

In recognition of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, the Vernon County Domestic Violence Task Force will be holding a walk and ceremony on Tuesday, April 28. The walk will begin at 6 p.m. and proceed to the Vernon County Courthouse for the ceremony, followed by a candlelight walk around the square.

The walk will begin at Dr. Lovinger's Office building at 625 S. Ash and be led by the Vernon County Commissioners, Nevada Police Department, Vernon County Sheriff's Office, Vernon County Ambulance, Nevada City Council, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The ceremony will be held in the courtroom inside the courthouse and will feature Mayor Mike Hutchens, as the keynote speaker. The Nevada Fire Department will provide the colors. Music will be provided by Scott Theis. Presiding Commissioner Bonnie McCord will read the proclamation and there will be a short memorial service for victims of crime. The ceremony will also feature a victim speak out, the placement of flowers at the Crime Victims' Rights tree, and a candlelight walk around the square.

The event is open to the public and members of the community are encouraged to join crime victims and those who serve them in recognizing National Crime Victims' Rights Week. For more information about the event, crime victim assistance, or volunteer opportunities, please contact Martha Sander at (417) 667-7171.

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