Local Agencies Come Together For National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
In Crow Wing County, there are multiple organizations that make it their mission to work for and preserve the rights of crime victims.
“Crime is so prevalent, unfortunately, in our area, and these victims are left with their life turned upside down,” said Heather Anthony, advocate at Victim Services Inc.
This week, the agencies are coming together to celebrate National Crime Victims’ Right Week.
“The message that we really want to present is that if you’ve been victimized in a criminal situation, if you’re a victim of a crime here in Crow Wing County, you are not alone,” said Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan.
National Crime Victims’ Right Week was established in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan in order to expand initiative to provide for victims of crimes. It takes every year in April. This year’s theme is “Honoring our past. Creating hope for the future.”
“It doesn’t matter who you are – you get caught up in your day to day grind. So when we have a week like Crime Victims’ Rights Week, it just gives us a moment to stop, take a breath, and put a spotlight on that,” said Ryan. “Just send that all-important message out that you’re not alone. There are resources here to call.”
In Crow Wing County, organizations working for crime victims have come together to create a coordinating council.
“Our coordinating council meets monthly and other times as necessary. It’s really a multi-disciplinary approach to supporting victims of crime,” explained Ryan.
For the local agencies it is important to use Crime Victims’ Right Week to get the word out of the available services in the area.
“We are trying to let people know that we are here to help victims of crime and whatever that need may be,” said Anthony.
“When we first meet a victim and they’re so overwhelmed when they come to us, whether it’s on the phone or in person, whatever it is, we will sit down and we will take that time. Maybe we can’t personally help you, but we are going to get you lined up with whoever that is,” said Kathy Fleisher, Victim Services Executive Director. “Just to see that relief. Finally, somebody’s ready to listen to me. That’s just so rewarding.”
Local Crime Victims’ Rights Organizations:
• Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center: 218-828-1216 or 888-777-1248, www.womenscenteronline.org; Alex and Brandon Child Safety Center, 218-828-0022
• Lutheran Social Services: Hotline in 218-824-3770, regular phone 218-824-3777; www.lssmn.org
• Crow Wing County Attorney’s Office for Julie Charpentier at 218-824-1025.
• Crisis Line: 218-828-4357 or 800-468-5525. Office number—218-828-4515 or email@example.com
• MADD: 877-623-3435 or www.madd.org
• To report a crime, call the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office at 218-829-4749. In an emergency, call 911. To learn more about the sheriff’s office, go to https://crowwing.us/92/Sheriff