Crime Victims’ Rights Week Observed
Melissa Evans, Victim/Witness Unit Coordinator and Wendy Murphy, Chief Assistant Rice County Attorney stopped by the KDHL Studios to educate us about the topic of crime victims' rights.
This week was proclaimed at the national, state and local levels National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The theme was, "Survivor voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change."
Murphy told us she always wanted to be a prosecuting attorney. Evans also started on that path and decided this position fit her skills better.
Evans enjoys working with crime victims.
Murphy says they do listen to victims.
Murphy adds the process is much slower than portrayed on television.
Evans echoes Murphy's thoughts about television portrayal of the court system.
A Proclamation passed by the Rice County Board of Commissioners during their meeting this week stated the following:
"WHEREAS the Rice County Attorney's Office provided crime victim services in excess of 1,400 instances during 2022;
WHEREAS the term "victim" is more than just a label and has legal standing and protections to go along with it;
WHEREAS crime victims' rights acts passed in Minnesota and at the federal level guarantee victims the right to meaningfully participate in the criminal justice process;
WHEREAS victim service providers, advocates, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and other allied professionals can help survivors find their justice by enforcing these rights;
WHEREAS including and elevating the voices of survivors ensures they are heard and seen and assists with sustaining community trust;
WHEREAS engaging with survivors, creates responses and services that are credible, meaningful, culturally appropriate, based on equity and inclusion, and centered on individual needs;
WHEREAS victim service providers, prosecutors and allied professionals can incrrease access to victim services and compensation by implementing culturally appropriate responses and services in areas that have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by inequality;
WHEREAS National Crime Victims' Rights Week provides an opportunity to recommit to listening to victims of crime, believing victims of crime, ensuring accessible, appropriate and trauma-informed serves are offered to all victims of crime in Rice County; and
WHEREAS Rice County is hereby dedicated to helping crime survivors find their justice by enforcing victims' rights, amplifying the voices of victims of crime, expanding access to services and creating an environment where victims of crimes have confidence they will be heard, believed and supported.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Rice County Board of Commissioners does hereby proclaim April 23-April 28, 2023 as NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK and urge all residents to recognize this week by dedicating ourselves to the task of inspiring the community, raise awareness of victims' rights, and address their unmet need. The Rice County Board of Commissioners expresses it's sincere gratitude and appreciation for those victim service providers, criminal justice professionals and community members who are committed to improving the response to all victims of crimes so that they may find relevant assistance, support, justice, safety and peace."
A copy of the AM Mn Program is below for your convenience.
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