Delaware County Council joined District Attorney Katayoun Copeland and members of the District Attorney’s office, Senior Victims Services, Juvenile Court and the County’s Office of Services for the Aging to recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week during the April 3 public council meeting.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, established in 1981, is held each year in April. The week is dedicated to educating the public about victimization, the effect victimization has on individuals, families, friends and the community, and to promote laws, policies, and programs to help victims of crime. Every year, thousands of communities across the nation recognize the dedication of those who work to ensure that all victims have the rights and services they need to recover from crime.
National Crime Victims’ Rights week will take place April 7–13. This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future” which celebrates the progress that has been made and also looks toward the future services for victims of crime that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed.
Delaware County has always made it a priority to raise awareness about the plight of victims of crime and to ensure the safety of witnesses who testify on behalf of victims. Throughout the year, service to victims is provided through the Victim Witness Assistance Unit of the District Attorney's Office, which works in partnership with Senior Victim Services, Children and Youth Services, the Office of Court Services and the Victim Services Unit of Juvenile Court. These efforts are furthered by partnerships with victim advocacy organizations including the Domestic Abuse Project, Family Support Line, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Parents of Murdered Children, and Delaware County Women Against Rape.
A ceremony will be held on April 10 during Crime Victims’ Rights Week to honor volunteers from various victim’s advocacy groups. This year’s honorees are Kathryn Meloni, Tony McCarthy, Aston Police Officer Mikell Jones, and Jamie Rector.
Kathryn Meloni and her certified therapy dog, Frangelica are being recognized for their work with PAWS for People. As a team, Kathryn and Frangelica visit hospitals, elementary schools, nursing homes, and the Delaware County Courthouse to bring some joy to those who have experienced hardships. Tony McCarthy is being recognized for his work as a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) since 2010. During his tenure, he has advocated for 17 children who have suffered abuse and neglect. Aston Police Officer Mikell Jones and Jamie Rector will be recognized for their efforts to provide veterinary care for a dog who experienced abuse.
Members of various advocacy groups including Women Against Rape, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Family Support Line were also recognized during the meeting and commended for the work they do to advocate for and support victims of crime.
A list of events being held to commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week can be held here: www.delcopa.gov/publicrelations/releases/2019/pdf/NationalCrimeVictimsRightsWeekEventFlyer2019.pdf