AG Reyes renews commitment to justice for crime victims

Composite stock images, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is being observed nationwide through April 8.  Communities across the country are raising awareness of victims’ rights and services by highlighting local programs, celebrating progress, and honoring victims and the professionals who serve them.

Poster courtesy of the Office for Victims of Crime within the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice | St. George News

“Sadly, there are individuals and communities in our state impacted every day by the devastating effects of crime,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement released in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“Protecting Utahns from criminal conduct in all its many forms has always been a top priority for the Utah Attorney General’s Office,” he said. “We are equally committed to stopping crime whether it be child abuse, white-collar crime, identity theft, human trafficking, Internet predation or more.”

Reyes pointed out that a significant but often unheralded part of the AG’s crime fighting effort is assuring that victims know their rights and what services are available to them.

“As their rights are promoted and protected, victims are empowered to recover. In doing so, they can re-take control of their lives and their future, promoting healing and strength,” he stated. “Survivors who are provided support and understanding will often feel safe enough to talk about their victimization. They are also more likely to seek needed services and participate in the criminal justice process.”

The AG Office multidisciplinary response model, involving collaboration among victim service professionals, prosecutors and law enforcement, medical and mental health providers, and community organizations is essential to reach and serve all victims — including high-risk populations and minorities.

“Every year, the AG Office is proud to work with, protect, educate and support victims across our state,” Reyes said. “This week, as we recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we renew our commitment to a victim service and criminal justice response model that assists all victims of crime.

“We express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to those community members, victim service providers, and criminal justice professionals who work to improve our statewide response to all victims of crime so that they may find relevant assistance, support, justice, healing and peace.”

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