POMEROY – National Crime Victims’ Rights Week begins April 10, but on Thursday a proclamation was issued by members of Meigs County law enforcement, advocacy and support services in recognition of it.
The proclamation was signed by Prosecutor Colleen Williams, Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy Fisher, Juvenile Court’s Sally Hanstine, Common Pleas Court Judge Carson Crow, County Court Advocate Shelley Kemper, Common Pleas Court Advocate Theda Petrasko, Child and Adult Protective Services Director Terri Ingels, Sheriff Keith Wood, and Meigs County commissioners Randy Smith, Tim Ihle and Mike Bartrum recognizing April 10-16 as National Crime Victim’s Rights Week in Meigs.
The proclamation honors the rights of crime victims to be heard and treated with “fairness, dignity and respect” by “working to meet their needs, rebuilding their trust in the criminal justice and social service systems and being dedicated to serving victims, building trust, and restoring hope for justice and healing.”
It stated, “Americans are the victims of more that 20 million crimes each year. Crime can touch the lives of anyone regardless of age, origin, religion, race, gender and many victims face challenges in finding appropriate service, including those with disabilities, young victims, elderly victims and others.”
Also recognized is that “many communities feel disconnected from the justice and social response systems, and have lost trust in the ability of those systems to recognize and respond to their needs.”
The victim service community has worked for decades to create an environment that is safe, supportive and effective, and the Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office is using a grant received they received for purposes of raising community awareness to support those efforts with two planned events.
With a theme of “Building Trust, Restoring Hope,” the observances are sponsored by Williams and Theda Petrasko, advocate and director of crime victim survivors.
First, a memorial display along the river wall and pavilion in Pomeroy was placed and will remain through April 15. During that time, people are encouraged to write on “luminary bags” and light a battery -operated tea light/candle in honor of a crime victim.
The memorial was assembled with the assistance of Eastern High School’s National Honor Society and their advisor Sam Thompson; and the Meigs High School senior football players and their coach, Mike Bartrum, who braved the wind, rain and cold temperatures to place 525 shoes, one for each victim since 2015, on the sidewalk along the riverfront.
The public is also invited to attend “Recovery and Healing from a Traumatic Event.” A representative from Woodland Centers Inc. will speak at 7 p.m. April 12 in the Farmer’s Bank Banquet Room, 640 E. Main St., Pomeroy.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551