Crime Victims Rights week not observed in Hawaii

The week of April 7 through 13 was National Crime Victims Rights week, the purpose being to give voice to innocent victims of homicide and violent crime. The week is a teachable moment; an educational tool to ensure the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) 1984 is given light and access to the public, victims and survivors of homicide, and elected officials.

This law was fought for in the 1980s by parents of murdered children who were denied access to the courtroom for the trials against those who so cruelly took their child’s life. We all watch the endless crime shows throughout the year and see these families and loved ones struggle with their new “normal,” the endless sorrow and a “grief like no other.”

Throughout the nation there were events, marches and proclamations were signed by those in elected office honoring National Crime Victims Act.

This year’s week was titled: “Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future.” Sadly, Hawaii and Maui County — in fact, all counties in Hawaii — had nothing on their agenda for the week. The week has been recognized for decades in the nation. In creating hope for the future it is time for Hawaii and Maui County to step up and follow suit in 2020.

For more information, see www.justice.gov/usao/resources/crime-victims-rights-ombudsman/victims-rights-act and ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw.

Danella George

Mother of a murdered child

Hoolehua, Molokai