Remembering the Victims

When we run down the latest crime and grime stories, we often talk about the suspects and the police and the witnesses. Often times, lost in the shuffle, are the victims. It's easy to talk about what happened - but also easy to forget that what happened...happened to real people who will suffer real consequences. That is why the Attorney General's office is taking the month to focus on Crime Victims' Rights, highlighted this week with a Crime Victims' Rights Conference to be held in Topeka. I've participated in a couple panel discussions at this event in years past, and I must say how impressed I am with the people involved - men and women who are on the front lines every day, helping people crime victims. In various ways, they assist people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves tossed in the middle of a judicial system that can be confusing and scary and is often more focused on protecting the rights of the accused. Don't get me wrong - people are innocent until proven guilty and protecting a suspect's rights is an important part of our society. However, this week reminds us we need to expend just as much energy looking out for crime victims. Side note - Washburn University is on the front lines in that issue, with one of the nation's few programs dedicated to it thru its Center for Violence and Victims Studies. A public thank you this week and every week to those who work to help people through the journey of becoming a victim of crime to becoming a survivor of crime.



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