The Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney kicked off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Monday in Kailua-Kona.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is observed nationwide each April to remember crime victims and survivors and to honor those who support them. This year’s theme is “Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities.”
“Crime doesn’t just affect the person it happens to — it affects the whole community,” Deborah Chai, a victim witness counselor with the Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, told a small crowd Monday at the West Hawaii Civic Center. “It affects the family members, their friends and the workers, and it has an affect that lasts a long time.”
Monday’s event featured a discussion about the various programs offered by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, rock painting, a display of some of the many T-shirts created through the years for the “Clothesline Project” and a talk with Chris Anderson, a mother who lost her son, Hawaii Fire Department Capt. David Mahon, in a fatal traffic crash in May 2019. Closing out the event was the dedication of the new Kona Memorial Peace Garden in honor of homicide victims.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week continued Monday night with Gov. David Ige sharing a few words, followed by representatives of the state Department of Public Safety, Hawaii Paroling Authority and Crime Victim Compensation Commission speaking about victims’ rights and services in Hawaii. The evening closed with a virtual victim candle vigil featuring music and stories from survivors.
The week will wrap up Friday in Hilo at the Hilo Peace Garden, located outside the Prosecutor’s Office at the Aupuni Center. Informational booths and exhibits will be on display and the public will also have the opportunity to participate in decorating a memorial rock for the Hilo Peace Garden.
In conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, prosecutor’s offices in Hilo and Kona are collecting donations to be distributed to agencies that provide sexual assault and domestic violence services such as Child and Family Services and shelters for those escaping an abusive situation.
The most requested items are Clorox/Lysol wipes, toilet paper and paper towels and new twin sheet sets and pillow cases. Clothing is not needed.
For more information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit www.PAVHawaii.com or contact the Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney Victim Assistance Unit at 934-3306 in Hilo and 324-1066 in Kona.
Email Chelsea Jensen at email@example.com.