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Guest Column: Observing National Crime Victims' Rights Week

Published: April 6, 2017 1:28 AM
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All this week (April 2-8) we join advocates across the nation to observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

This year’s theme is Strength, Resilience, Justice.

During this week, Victim Assistance Program honors crime victims and thanks the advocates who hold them up until they find their own strength and discover their “new normal.”

Our victim advocates staff our 24/7 hotline, at 330-376-0040. They also staff offices in the Akron Police Department, Summit County Clerk of Courts, and Barberton, Stow and Akron municipal courts, where they provide crisis intervention in person from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We also have advocates with offices in the Akron Detective Bureau from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.

We celebrate the resiliency of the human spirit, as our advocates and trauma counselor walk beside victims on their journey from hardship to healing; from victim to survivor.

Our advocates assist clients in completing paperwork for protection orders and victim compensation. They accompany clients to ex parte, evidentiary, grand jury, and other court hearings.  They also respond to crime scenes at the request of law enforcement.  Our licensed counselor provides trauma therapy, free of charge, for ages 5 through adult.   

We will continue to advocate for justice for crime victims by assuring their rights under Ohio law are being upheld.

Our advocates make sure that crime victims who choose to exercise their rights receive information about the case and the offender, from investigation through arrest and conviction or acquittal, apply for allowed restitution so they may be made whole, and are heard before sentencing or parole.

During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and always, we are here for victims of crime, trauma and crisis.

Sincerely,

Leanne Graham, Executive Director of Victim Assistance Program


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