YWCA Wheeling commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 23–29, 2023
WHEELING, W.Va – April 14, 2023 – The YWCA Wheelingis commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week from April 23–29, 2023 by displaying mannequins that have been commissioned by West Liberty University Art Department students which portray thought-provoking pieces related to domestic violence, substance use disorder, hate crimes and human trafficking.
According to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2021, there were more than 4.6 million violent victimizations and 11.7 million property crimes, the latest year for which such information is available.
“It is crucial in our line of work to be able to hear and believe the victims we are charged with helping,” said Lori Jones, Executive Director of the YWCA Wheeling. “It is so important that the victim know they have a safe space to tell their story and know they are being believed. It’s important for their healing and to have support at every step of the criminal justice process and beyond.”
West Liberty University art students were eager to be a part of a project that would bring awareness and foster conversation around topics that are often hushed.
West Liberty University Creative Arts Therapy Instructor, Terri Giller is especially proud to be a part of this awareness project. “As an art therapist, who has worked with individuals that have experienced or who were recovering from crimes such as domestic violence, substance use disorders, human trafficking, and hate crimes, I am so grateful for this opportunity for WLU Studio Art and Creative Arts Therapy majors to participate in this project. Art has the ability to help the public understand the impact of violent crimes and the victims of crime as more than just a statistic. The visual representations can allow the viewer to see the impact of crime on victims in a whole new way or gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of others.”
The federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by raising awareness of victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme is “Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change.”
Partner organizations are committed to engaging with victims of crime; learning from their lived experiences; amplifying their voices; and fostering an environment where they are heard, believed, and supported.
During NCVRW 2023, YWCA Wheeling will share information about victims’ rights and resources and underscore the importance of listening to survivors’ voices in every space where decisions are made that could impact them by displaying these pieces of art that invoke a sense of empathy towards the victims path.
For additional information about this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and how to assist crime victims, please contact the YWCA Wheeling at 304-232-0511 or visit our website at www.ywcawheeling.org
For more information about how to support all victims of crime, visit OVC’s website at ovc.ojp.gov.
Since 1906, the YWCA Wheeling has provided services to individuals regardless of race, gender, age, or religion in the West Virginia Northern Panhandle, including Ohio, Marshall, Brooke, Wetzel, Hancock Counties, and Belmont and Jefferson Counties in Ohio.