From the community

Sagadahoc County to Honor Crime Victims and Advocates During Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Posted April 19, 2013, at 9:24 a.m.

2013 Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 21-27) is being recognized by Victim Witness Advocates and the Office of the District Attorney, New Hope for Women and Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine. This year’s theme, New Challenges. New Solutions celebrates the spirit that will advance the progress achieved despite many challenges.

Only 30 years ago, crime victims had no rights, access to crime victim compensation, or services to help rebuild their lives. They were often excluded from courtrooms, treated as an afterthought by the criminal justice system, and denied an opportunity to speak at sentencing.

Yet through decades of advocacy and hard work, we have come a long way. The Office of the District Attorney has two Victim Witness Advocates whose role it is to assist victims of all crimes. New Hope for Women a domestic violence agency was established 32 years ago and Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine recently celebrated its thirtieth anniversary.

Advocates face a host of new challenges as they strive to provide culturally competent services for increasingly diverse populations (e.g., older adults, teens, immigrant populations) and victims of newly prevalent crimes (e.g., trafficking and technology-related Stalking, hate crimes and identity theft). As funding sources decrease, providers must target their services even more strategically.

For additional information about Crime Victims’ Rights Week and how to help victims in our community, please contact

New Hope for Women at 1-800-522-3304, or visit www.newhopeforwomen.org

Sexual Assault Response Services at 1-800-822-5999 or visit www.sassmm.org

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