ELKHART — Local offices involved in providing help to victims of crime are observing the national Crime Victims’ Rights Week the second week of April, either by sharing awareness or by holding activities for the community.
Each year, the Crime Victims’ Rights Week has a different theme, and this year the theme is "30 Years: Restoring the Balance of Justice,” in honor of the passage of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984.
The act was put in place to fund victim services through fines and fees imposed against federal criminal offenders, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. It also established crime victims' rights, services and compensation.
"Only 30 years ago, crime victims had virtually no rights and no assistance," according to the statement from the Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office. "Today in Elkhart County we have made dramatic progress in protecting and serving victims of crime."
The prosecutor's office will observe the week with social media postings on Facebook and Twitter, according to a press release.
The prosecutor's office also encourages the community to learn more about the services provided by the Victim Assistance Division on its website www.elkhartcountyprosecutor.com or by calling 523-2237.
The Cass County Prosecutor's Office will announce the winner of this year's book cover contest for the child-friendly booklet distributed by the Cass County Victim Unit to help child witnesses and victims as they prepare for their court proceedings.
Elementary school students participate in the contest, by drawing what "going to court" means to them. The winner of the contest will be announced at 7 p.m. Thursday at the historic courthouse.
The annual flagpole ceremony will be held Friday at noon in front of the Law and Courts Building, in honor of family members who have lost loved ones to crime.
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office hold its 12th annual Take Back the Night march, sponsored by the S-O-S of the Family Justice Center at 7 p.m. Thursday at the St. Joseph County Courthouse steps, in downtown South Bend, according to a press release from the prosecutor's office.
The rally will begin at 7 p.m. at the footsteps of the courthouse, followed by a mile-long march around downtown South Bend. The event will close at the State Theater with to speak out against violence against women.