CEDAR RAPIDS — National Crime Victims’ Rights Week kicks off this weekend as the criminal justice community and victim services agencies of Linn County join together to provide activities that follow this year’s theme, “Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future.”
Opening ceremonies will start 1 p.m. Sunday and will be hosted this year by Horizons, said Anastasia Basquin, chief victim liaison with the Linn County Attorney’s Office. This ceremony will highlight issues surrounding victimization and introduce the community to important resources and services available.
Basquin said the keynote speaker during the ceremony will be a survivor of domestic violence. The Jennifer Clinton Domestic Violence Service Award also will be presented to an individual for their “dedication to the pursuit of justice” for domestic violence victims.
Clinton, who died in 2010, was an assistant Linn County attorney. This special annual award is presented to the person or group that best “exemplifies the high ideals and principals personified” by Clinton as an advocate for victims of crime, Basquin said.
A “Memorial Craft Night” will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday and also will be at the Horizons office, 819 Fifth St. SE, in Cedar Rapids. The event is open to the entire family and will allow a “safe, supportive” space to make the memorial boxes. These boxes can honor a loved one, share a story of survival or provide a “tactile procession” session.
Basquin said this year’s Candlelight Vigil will be at 7 p.m. April 12 at Horizons. There will be memorial and survivor candle lighting, music and spoken poetry. A slideshow also will be shown to remember the lives of those lost due to criminal actions.
On April 13, the “Go the Distance for Crime Victims 5K Run/Walk” will start 9 a.m. at Thomas Park in Marion. This event will demonstrate “our unified intolerance of crimes against victims,” Basquin said. Proceeds benefit victims of crime in Eastern Iowa.
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For more information on how to assist victims in Linn County or the events of Crime Victims’ Rights Week, contact the Linn County Attorney’s Office at (319) 892-6350.
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