Luncheon to raise awareness of victims’ rights

A luncheon is scheduled Wednesday at the American Legion, 2701 E. Eighth St., to spread awareness to the community on the rights that victims of crimes have and the resources they have available.

The free event is being hosted by the Ector County Victims Coalition, an organization made up of agencies providing services to victims of crimes in Ector County.

“This is to make sure victims, especially in Ector, are aware of the resources that are available to them,” Krystal Peter, Chair of the Ector County Victims Coalition and Victims Advocate for Safe Place of the Permian Basin, said. “By these events, we’re able to make sure the community is aware of the agencies and organizations that are available to help victims.”

The luncheon is part of Crime Victims Rights Awareness Week, an annual week held from April 8 to April 14 by the Office for Victims of Crime.

This year, the week has the theme titled “Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims,” emphasizing the importance of inclusion of victim services and addressing how organizations and communities can work together to reach all victims and ensure all victims have access to services and support.

Peter said some of the rights they’ll talk about include their rights to seek correct law enforcement action, rights to protective orders and rights to crime victim compensation.

Several basic rights of victims, listed by the National Center for Victims of Crimes, include the right to be treated with respect and sensitivity, the right to be informed of arrests and trial proceedings, and the rights to protection and compensation.

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. and last until 1 p.m. Wednesday at the American Legion. Lunch will be provided by Ajuua’s Mexican Restaurant.

There will be several speakers from local law enforcement agencies at the event, including Texas House Representative Brooks Landgraf, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke, Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis, and Child Protection Court of West Texas Associate Judge Tracey Scown.

Griffis said he would be making aware certain rights that victims have, as well as the agencies they can reach out to.

“I think there are more people that are out there that are not aware of what their rights are as victims, what resources are available to them,” Griffis said. “There’s help available to them.”

Those interested in attending the luncheon can RSVP online at tinyurl.com/y6vpbhfe or by calling 432-580-5970 or emailing kkpeter@safeplacenow.com

If You Go
  • What: Crime Victims Rights Awareness Luncheon.
  • When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday.
  • Where: American Legion, 2701 E. Eighth St.
  • More information: RSVP HERE.
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