Crime victims and supporters will rally at Capitol Thursday

Crime victims and their families will rally in Olympia Thursday as part of the 25th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Representatives from the Everett-based group Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims will speak, as will Jeri Costa, a former state senator from Marysville and a victims rights advocate.

Crime victims also will share their stories, and advocates will discuss services that are available to crime victims.

Ronald Reagan was the first president to recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which will is today through Saturday this year. The Victims of Crime Act was passed in 1984, establishing a federal fund to help assistance programs.

Washington has been recognized nationally its work on behalf of crime victims, but more needs to be done, said Jenny Wieland, executive director of Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims.

“In some areas, victim rights haven’t been enforced, and if they’re not being enforced, then justice isn’t really being delivered,” Wieland said.

Some counties in the state don’t notify victims of court hearings or allow more than one family member to speak at court when defendants are sentenced, Wieland said.

Snohomish County officials, however, are “very much in tune with victim rights,” she said.

The rally and march will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday outside the Capitol.

The state Department of Labor and Industries also will host a program on victims’ needs from 8 a.m. to noon at its auditorium in Tumwater.

The department runs the state’s crime victims’ assistance program, which received about 7,000 requests for assistance last year.

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