Taking Time to Honor Crime Victims Among Us
JILL RAVITCH and GLORIA EUROTAS, pressdemocrat.com, April 16, 2012Terry Probyn, mother of kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard will be a guest speaker at Sonoma County's Family Justice Center on April 24 as part of Crime Victims Rights Week.
You're late for work and don't take the time to kiss your 10-year-old daughter good-bye as she leaves for school. It's just another day, and you think nothing of it. You will connect with her in the evening.
Then the nightmare begins. The phone rings, and you find that a drunken driver veered onto the sidewalk and hit a group of children as they walked home from school. You race to the hospital and find other parents, family members and school officials present with police. The driver is in custody. Your daughter, injured, has survived. Others are not so fortunate. The road to recovery for many has just begun.
The impact of crime is pervasive and knows no boundaries. People tend to think, “It can't happen to me.” Yet anyone, in any community, including here in Sonoma County, may become a victim of crime at any time. Perhaps it is a life shattered by a drunken driver, a sense of insecurity in a home burglarized, or financial burdens brought on through identity theft. They deserve services, information and, most of all, our compassion.
The vision that launched the victims' rights movement emerged more than 30 years ago. Victims' rights legislation has given victims a voice in the criminal justice system. Marsy's Law, also known as the Victims' Bill of Rights, amended the California constitution in 2008 to provide additional and specific rights to victims. While we have come far, our work is not done, and we must continue to bring about a better future for all victims of crime. ...