This moving event served as a reminder that the faces of crime victims are those of our family, friends, neighbors, and community members.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and the Office of Crime Victim Advocate, in commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, were joined by New York Attorney General Leticia James, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, and community members for a Crime Victims’ Rights Vigil and Dome Lighting to raise awareness about crime victims’ issues and rights and introduce the community to the important resources and services available. In addition to their remarks, a vigil ceremony was held with community stakeholders, including victims of crimes and their families.
County Executive Curran presented honorary citations for Life After Loss A.N.D.R.E founders Stephanie Draine and George Greydon, and Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Palma, champions in advocating for expanded support and services for communities affected by crime. After the citation presentation and musical performances, the five crime victim rights candles were lit by family members of crime victims: the right to be present, the right to assistance, right to information/notification, the right to be safe, and the right to be heard.
“This moving event served as a reminder that the faces of crime victims are those of our family, friends, neighbors, and community members. Now is the time to redouble our efforts so that victimization continues to decline and fewer and fewer Nassau residents become victims of crime,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“Monday was a monumental milestone here in Nassau County, as our County came together for the first time to commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a time to remember those we have lost. recognize survivors of crime and raise awareness of victims’ rights and services. It is a time to stand with families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues whose lives have been forever altered by crime. Elected officials, law enforcement, county agencies, service providers, community partners and advocates stood with survivors in solidarity and made a collective commitment to reach out, listen, and support them as they journey on a path to justice and healing. As a county and a community, we committed to support victims and survivors by earning and building on their trust. We will continue to provide victims with the resources and assistance that is needed in the aftermath of a crime. Nassau County works to ensure that victims’ and witnesses are afforded all the legal rights, protections, and assistance they are entitled to under the law and that they treated with dignity fairness and respect. Our National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Vigil showed the victims and survivors of Nassau County that they are not alone, we hear them, and we stand with them,” said Director of the Office of Crime Victim Advocate Jeanine Diehl-Paulson.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of NCVRW by promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme— Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities. —celebrates the contributions that we all can make toward building trust in our community’s capacity to support the healing journeys of crime victims. Trust is collective as well as individual, so we are honoring both the individual victims in our community and the groups engaged in building networks of understanding and support.
“It is important that all victims have a platform to share their voice and our partnerships throughout Nassau County make sure that voice is heard. While some voices may no longer be here, those voices live through the families and through all who strive to make Nassau County a safer place for all. We are honored to work with such dedicated Law Enforcement and social service partners," said Director of Education at The Safe Center, Keith Scott.