The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Friday, March 28, 2014, 1:00 a.m.
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Crime victims need our help

Every day in Snohomish County we read and hear about crime that is happening in our communities. For most people it is easy to dismiss crime that has taken place because “I don’t live in that neighborhood” or “I don’t engage in that behavior.” Crime can happen anywhere to anyone. Think about some of the tragedies you have heard about; the young mother driving home from work who is killed by a person speeding from the law or the person at a family picnic who is hit by random gunfire. These are tragedies because not one of these victims or families were associating with the “wrong people” in the “wrong neighborhood” or engaging in the “wrong behavior.” It is easier to believe it cannot happen to me, my children or my family because then we are “safe” from crime. When crime does happen to an innocent person they are suddenly thrown into a criminal justice system that is unfamiliar and difficult to navigate.
In 1984, Congress passed the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which created a national fund to ease victims’ suffering. Financed not by taxpayers but by fines and penalties paid by offenders, the Crime Victims Fund supports victim services and compensation programs to help deal with the emotional, physical and financial aftermath of crime.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be held April 6–12. For additional information and to learn how to help victims in your community, please contact Victim Support Services at 800.346.7555 or visit www.victimsupportservices.org.
Nancy Hawley
Victim Support Services (formerly FNFVCV)
Director of Victim Services
Everett
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.