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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 22-28 | Guest Column
By Randy Gaylord, SJC prosecuting attorney
April 22-28 is National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
This event is meant to increase public awareness of victim rights and available victim services.
Victims of crime often feel helpless in the aftermath of a crime. They may feel vulnerable, isolated and alone, or they may be left financially devastated.
We are fortunate to have a network of victim services here in San Juan County. I am proud of the work of our victim advocates in the San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. They reach out to crime victims, connect them to services, and advocate for them.
We have advocates to help victims in the following areas: help victims and their families understand and go through the criminal justice process in sexual assault, child abuse, vehicular homicide, homicide, elder abuse, domestic violence, assault, property crime, and juvenile crime cases; see that victims’ voices are heard in the criminal justice process, help with protection orders, obtain financial restitution from offenders, and find other services they need.
In addition, each of our deputy prosecuting attorneys and administrative staff knows that service in support of victims is at the core of our work. It is what makes our work important and meaningful to the community and to us.
If you are, or know of, a victim of a crime in need of services, contact our victim advocates at 378-4101. The following additional community resources can also help:
—San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, 378-4151.
—Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of the San Juan Islands: Lopez, 468-4567, Orcas, 376-1234, San Juan, 378-2345.
—Compass Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services) 360-378-2669.
—Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, 800-762-3716.
—Families & Friends of Violent Crime Victims, 800-346-7556.
Take a minute this week to remember the victims of crime in our county, and to appreciate the people who have devoted their careers to helping victims recover.
Contact Randall Gaylord, San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney, at 360-370-7603 (work), or, 360-298-2800 (cell)