In recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, District Attorney Ashley Rich announces that this upcoming week is generally marked with activities in individual communities across the state and nation. However, considering the national health crisis and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s request of all Alabamians to “social distance,” most community events have been canceled. And, like the changes all of us have made in our lives, we too can change.
Our activities to commemorate this week will move online to our virtual communities. Each day our office will release a video that corresponds with this years’ NCVRW theme—Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope. It is our mission to commemorate the individuals and groups whose advocacy has propelled the victims’ rights movement forward for the past half-century, inspiring in victims and their loved ones a feeling of hope for progress, justice, and healing. We have also tentatively rescheduled our annual Crime Victims’ Vigil and Resource Fair for June 18, 2020.
The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office plays a unique role in assisting crime victims. It is our shared mission to ensure Alabama’s crime victims’ rights are respected, that each victim is treated with dignity and each is provided with assistance to thrive in their new reality. Whether that is shelter assistance for a domestic violence victim, counseling for a child of abuse or financial compensation through Alabama’s Victim Compensation Fund, we will endeavor in each act we perform to help in healing and end any further victimization.
Almost 30 years ago, Alabama’s Victim’s Bill of Rights was enacted into law. Prior to that historical and important legislation, victims were often excluded from the justice system – both physically and emotionally. Many were not allowed in the courtroom, most were not informed of the outcomes of their cases, and others were denied the opportunity to speak at a sentencing or parole hearing.
Today, next week, and every day going forward, we will continue to assist, include, and respect the victims of crime and their families, as we seek to ensure justice is served in all corners of a courtroom and all corners of the great state of Alabama.
The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office together with 41 other Alabama district attorneys make up the Alabama District Attorneys Association (ADAA.) As prosecutors, we carry the highest burden in the Alabama justice system, each tasked with protecting the citizens of Alabama, providing a voice to victims and seeking justice for all. District attorneys provide support and guidance to victims of crime, build partnerships with service providers and are committed to empowering victims and preventing further victimization.
We hope that this week you will join us in honoring victims of crime and those that work on their behalf.