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Shoals VOCAL chapter recognizes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

The 40th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is being commemorated this week (through Saturday, April 24).

This year’s theme — “Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities.”

Again this year, due to COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols, many communities and victims’ rights groups are organizing virtual-only gatherings or online public awareness campaigns.

The Shoals chapter of VOCAL (Victims of Crime and Leniency), which recognizes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week each year, released the following statement:

“Due to the still uncertain pandemic in our world right now, we are saddened that for the second year in a row, the Shoals VOCAL chapter will not be able to come together during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week for our yearly candlelight vigil and the placing of crosses on the lawn of the Lauderdale County Courthouse, along with other special events.

“During the pandemic, Shoals VOCAL has continued to support crime victims through phone calls, emails and online efforts.

“We have continued to send parole protest letters to Montgomery for hearings that didn’t allow in-person attendance. We have continued to make phone calls and send letters concerning legislative bills that could have negative or positive effects for victims of crime.

“There has been no in-person attendance allowed for local hearings in Lauderdale County during the pandemic except for limited family members. VOCAL continues to keep track of updates regarding ongoing cases.

“We do not want victims to be forgotten.”

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 with the goal of putting crime victims’ rights, needs and concerns in a prominent spot on the national agenda.

The week is traditionally a time for victim advocacy organizations, community groups and state, local and tribal agencies to host rallies, candlelight vigils, and other events to raise awareness of victims’ rights and services. 

Visit Shoals VOCAL on Facebook for more information and updates.

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