Crime Victims rights recognized by Franklin County Commissioners this week

25 April 2024- The Franklin County Commissioners have proclaimed April 21-27, 2024 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 “How Would You Help? Options, Services and Hope For Crime Survivors.” This theme prompts everyone to consider what they would do if someone confided in them about domestic violence and encourages everyone to have a broader understanding of available services in their local communities.

According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 104 individuals died as a result of domestic violence incidents in Pennsylvania in 2023. More than half were killed by a current or former intimate partner. National statistics show that 1 in 3 women will face a domestic violence situation in their lifetime while 1 in 4 men and nearly half of all LGBTQ+ individuals will experience domestic violence at some point.

Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery; Sherri Kauffman, Women in Need (WIN) Victim Services victim advocate; Amy Hockenberry, WIN victim advocate; Commissioner Chairman Dean Horst; Franklin County District Attorney Ian Brink; Angela Mackley, Franklin County Juvenile Probation chief deputy; Heather Evans, victim advocate; and Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski

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.

“Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a time to remind our residents that support and life-saving services are available to them within our community and that they are not alone,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dean Horst. “It’s also a time to express our gratitude to those service providers, criminal justice professionals and other community members who are dedicated to improving the response to all victims of crime so they receive relevant assistance, support, justice and ultimately peace.”

By recognizing Crime Victims’ Survivors Week the commissioners are urging all Franklin County residents to support individuals affected by domestic violence and to do their part to ensure they have access to a safe environment, appropriate resources and can have hope for a better future.