CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have proclaimed April 23-39, 2023 to be Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Franklin County. In doing so, the commissioners have reaffirmed the county’s commitment to amplifying the voices of survivors and creating an environment where survivors have the confidence that they will be heard, believed and supported.
The national theme for this year’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change.” This theme gives communities like those in Franklin County an opportunity to recommit to listening to crime survivors in every space where decisions are made that could impact them. Survivors’ lived experiences can serve as a catalyst for implementing innovative programs, shifting existing programs in new directions, and changing policies or practices that prevent survivors from accessing services or pursuing justice.
Both Pennsylvania and federal laws guarantee victims the right to meaningfully participate in the criminal justice process. By enforcing these rights and ensuring equity and inclusivity for all, service providers, advocates, law enforcement officers, attorneys and other allied professionals can help survivors find their justice.
“Elevating survivors’ voices ensures they are heard and seen, and it creates a path to forging and sustaining community trust,” said Franklin County Commissioner Dave Keller. “The Franklin County Commissioners are grateful and appreciative of those community members, victim service providers and criminal justice professionals who are committed to improving the response to all victims of crime so they may find relevant assistance, support, justice and peace.”
One such service provider is Women in Need (WIN), a non-profit organization committed to assisting victims of sexual and domestic violence in Franklin and Fulton counties. Each year, WIN provides free, confidential services to approximately 1,700 victims and their families. During Crime Victims’ Rights Week, WIN will share a series of video interviews with local professionals working in the criminal justice system on the organization’s social media pages. WIN will also be hosting its annual fundraiser, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, on May 5 in Chambersburg to support its various programs and services. For more information, visit www.winservices.org.