Originally created 04/14/97

Plugs victims' rights; cites statistics

This week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week in America. Proclaimed by the president and governors across our country, the theme for this special commemoration is "Let Victims' Rights Ring Across America."

It is a special week dedicated to those who have been injured and killed by criminal victimization. It is also a time to recognize and reflect upon the many accomplishments on the local, state, and federal levels that have improved rights and services extended to crime victims in our nation.

For whom does the bell of victimization toll? Each year in America, nearly 39 million individuals become victims of crime. Sadly, statistics show that for over half of these victims, it is not the first time nor will it be the last. Becoming a victim of crime has become a right of passage in our violent nation.

For example, the National Education Association reports that each day in America, 100,000 children carry guns to school, 260,000 children miss class because of the fear of being physically harmed and 40 students are killed or injured by firearms.

Barbara Thurmond, Augusta

(Editor's note: The writer is president of Blacks Against Black Crimes.)


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