MORRISTOWN, NJ - The week of April 7 - April 13 has been designated Crime Victims' Rights Week, announced the Morris County Prosecutor's Office.
Over 100 members of law enforcement, community leaders and families of crime victims attended the ceremony held Monday April 8, kicking off Crime Victims' Rights Week. The week is a time of remembrance and calls attention to the trauma that survivors of crime face. The week also aims to raise awareness about the impact crime has on its victims.
A tree will be lit up outside the office as well as a wreath in honor of all victims of crime in Morris County.
Journalist Brian Thomspon, was the Keynote speaker and provided a unique perspective, recognizing victims willing to provide their impact statements in court, especially when they were aware of the media’s presence.
During the ceremony, Laurie Parks of Randolph, who daughter Jennifer was murdered in 2005, gave a victim testimony. She spoke about the hardships she has experienced following her daughter's death.
“I would like to thank all those who attended this program, especially Laurie Parks for continuing to have the courage to speak about her experiences as a victim, and Brian Thompson for sharing his unique perspective on the impact by victims on sentencing", Prosecutor Knapp stated. "The Victim Witness Unit, comprised of Coordinator Donna Pasquariello, Supervisor Amanda Holloway, and Advocates Michelle Leone and Kelly Klinger, work exceptionally hard to ensure that crime victims in Morris County receive the proper guidance and assistance. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to ensure that the rights and needs of victims of crimes receive the utmost attention”.
A proclamation was presented to Prosecutor Knapp on behalf of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office by Deputy Freeholder Director Heather Darling.
“To victims and survivors of crime, I would say that justice simply means that you are treated with respect—that you are listened to and actually heard,’’ said Freeholder Darling. “It means that you will have a voice in vital decisions that are made in relation to your cases, as well as to your lives.’’
Text of the County Proclamation:
Whereas, each year, millions of Americans, including Morris County residents, find themselves being victims of crime, with each crime impacting many more people, including families, friends, and communities; and
Whereas, crime exacts an emotional, physical, psychological, and financial toll on its victims, who often lose their sense of security, and that has the potential to change the course of their lives forever; and
Whereas, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and its Victim Witness Advocacy Unit are firm in the belief that every crime victim deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect; and
Whereas, the members of the Victim Witness Advocacy Unit work diligently to ensure that every crime victim they encounter is provided with the crisis and emergency assistance and support needed to help make his or her participation in the criminal justice system less difficult and burdensome; and
Whereas, Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2019 in Morris County provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the foundation of victims’ rights — fairness, dignity and respect — and to recommit to honoring those values;
Now, Therefore, I, Douglas R. Cabana, Director of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, proclaim April 7 to April 13, 2019, to be Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Morris County, reaffirming this county’s commitment to respect the rights of crime victims and to address their needs.