This coming week, Sunday through Saturday, will mark the 32nd annual National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Every year, National Crime Victims' Rights Week revisits crime victims' decades-long struggle to achieve justice by providing opportunities to increase awareness about the challenges faced by crime victims and to highlight the long struggle to establish victims' rights.
This year's theme - New Challenges, New Solutions - summons our nation to confront and remove obstacles to achieving those rights and to highlight both how far we've come as a society as well as how much farther we have to go.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics study published in 2010, the rate of violent crimes in the U.S. declined 70 percent between 1993 and 2010 and property crimes declined 50 percent; however, there remained nearly 42 million victims of crime that year alone.
The Fulton County Domestic Violence Program of the Family Counseling Center and the Fulton County District Attorney's Office and members of the Fulton County Domestic Violence Task Force also will observe National Crime Victims' Rights Week with special events and programs, including an open house and book signing with author Susan Torres on Monday at 3 p.m. at the Fulton County Office Building (Basement Meeting Room No. 1), presentations at local high schools and the college Wednesday and Friday, and a luncheon Thursday for Fulton County Domestic Violence Task Force members and guests.
If you or a friend has experienced the physical or emotional effects of a crime, there is help. Local services are available through the Fulton County District Attorney's Office at 736-5511 and the Fulton County Domestic Violence Program at the Family Counseling Center at 725-5300. Both agencies provide crime victims advocacy services.
The National Center for Victims of Crime can connect you to resources through its website at www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims.
LINDA S. HORAN
Fulton County Domestic Violence
and RAECHELLE PERRIN