A tribute to victims of crimes
April 14, 2005
“Justice Isn’t Served Until Crime Victims Are” is the theme of the 25th annual National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10-16. Crime in our country has a devastating impact on victims and survivors, neighborhoods, and society as a whole. It continually threatens our individual and collective sense of safety and security, creating a sense of indignity through the realization that anyone at any time can be victimized by violence.
South Lake Tahoe joined cities, counties and states across the country in proclaiming this Crime Victims’ Rights Week. It is a time to pay tribute to victims and survivors of crime and those who selflessly serve them as well as an opportunity to educate our community about the services available to victims and survivors of violence.
In honor of Victims’ Rights Week, a Victim Service Award was presented to South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Brad Williams for his work with victims of all types of crime, and more recently for his work with domestic violence victims. Williams has consistently provided support and information to victims in traumatic situations. In many cases, he contacts local agencies to ensure that the victims are provided with any and all necessary service. He has received praise from several victims for both his thorough investigations and his compassion toward victims and their families. Officers are trained to be impartial and to report the facts. Victims notice when an officer goes that extra mile to help them receive the services necessary for their recovery. Williams makes every effort to go that extra mile for the victims’ that he comes in contact with.
During Victims’ Rights Week, South Lake Tahoe community agencies, organizations and volunteers from South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Tahoe Youth and Family Services, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and El Dorado County District Attorney’s Victim/Witness Program joined forces in a collaborative effort to reach out to victims of crime through a week-long educational campaign including radio and TV appearances, radio advertisements, poster and a wide range of educational materials.
The week’s activities will end with a Masquerade Ball recognizing the many masks that victims of crime wear to hide their shame, fear or embarrassment. The ball will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday on the Tahoe Queen (dockside). Activities are sponsored by the participating agencies in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime.
Justice isn’t served until:
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n All crime victims are treated with dignity and compassion by our criminal and juvenile justice systems;
— Crime victims’ most basic needs are identified and efforts are made to meet these important needs;
— Crime victims are informed of all their rights throughout the justice process – rights that empower them, give them important choices, and offer them opportunities to have voices and choices in their cases and in the future;
nCrime victims can be assured that their offenders will be held accountable for their crimes.