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April is National Crime Victim Rights Week

The week of April 24th through the 30th is National Crime Victim Rights Week, and the Alpena County Prosecutor’s Office is making an effort to ensure inclusive and equitable services are always available.

The prosecutor’s office has the good fortune to help victims of crime through the court process and the judicial system, but they believe it can go further than that.

“Especially if you’re a victim of a very serious crime, it doesn’t ever leave you,” said Alpena County Crime Victim Rights Coordinator Julie Jackson. “So Crime Victim Rights Awareness Week gives victims a chance to meet in different places, to talk to each other.”

The prosecutor’s office is highlighting a little known form of contact for emergency services called “Text–To–911.” This method helps those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled get the help they need.

“I’m very passionate about it,” said Jackson. “It can help people who maybe have speech impediments, have a hard time talking, it can help people who for whatever reason can’t vocalize what they need.”

When we think of crime and its victims, we think everything is squared away after the perpetrator is punished. But this week brings more attention to helping victims heal.

“Sometimes it’s not easy;” said Jackson. “Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t, but at least when there’s things like this it brings awareness that there are others out there who share in that same kind of situation that they can talk to and get help and support each other.”

On Thursday, there will be a vigil at Hope Shores Alliance for sexual assault awareness and domestic violence survivors.