Each April since 1981, Office for Victims of Crime, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, has helped lead communities throughout the country in their observances of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Rallies, candlelight vigils and a host of commemorative activities are held each year to promote victims' rights and to honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.
The National Crime Victims' Rights Week for 2007 will be observed April 22-28. The 2007 theme is "Victims' Rights: Every Victim. Every Time."
The national observance and candlelight ceremony will be held Thursday, April 19, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. (The Southeast Texas Record is owned by the Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.)
Featured speaker at the Washington event will be Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica Lunsford, the 9-year-old Florida girl who was abducted and killed in 2005. He is founder of the Jessica Marie Lunsford Foundation.
Locally, the Jefferson County Coalition for Victims of Crime will hold its 17th annual Candlelight Vigil at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26 in the jury impaneling room of the Jefferson County Courthouse. The vigil will be an opportunity for victims, survivors and family members to share their grief and encourage one another in the healing process. The ceremony will include music, poetry and a tribute to honor crime victims.
Anyone who has been impacted by violent crime, in their own life or the life of a loved one, is invited to participate in the event.
For more information on the Jefferson County vigil, call (409) 833-3377.