Delaware County Observes National Crime Victims Rights Week

Crime Victims’ Rights’ WeekImage via Delaware County

MEDIA, PA — Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer joined dozens of County employees and several victim advocacy organizations to observe National Crime Victims’ Rights’ Week on April 27 in front of the Delaware County Courthouse in Media.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, established in 1981 is held each year in April and is dedicated to educating the public about victimization, the effect victimization has on individuals, families, friends and the community, and to promote laws, policies, and programs to help victims of crime.

Tragically, there are residents across Delaware County who are affected by serious crime, and those victims often face physical, psychological, and financial impacts. Victims often suffer serious and traumatic effects. This is a problem nationwide, and Delaware County has not been spared. Victims are all ages, races, genders, and live in neighborhoods across the county.

“All of us who come into contact with victims are enriched by the bravery and resiliency they display after surviving circumstances that most of us cannot even imagine,” said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer. “Each day, law enforcement plays a critical role in providing justice for those harmed by some of the most heinous acts of violence. But we couldn’t do what we do without the support and advocacy of the incredible organizations working in Delaware County to support and guide the victims of crime. Their work often goes unsung, but it is nonetheless critical to the work that we do. On behalf of the law enforcement community, I want to express our heartfelt thanks,” said District Attorney Stollsteimer.

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Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and his very dedicated team work to raise awareness about the plight of victims of crime and work to ensure the safety of witnesses who testify on behalf of victims. They offer services to victims through the Victim Witness Assistance Unit of the District Attorney’s Office, Delaware County Children and Youth Services, Victim Services Unit of Juvenile Court and Probation, and the County Office of Services for the Aging.

Efforts are furthered by partnerships with victim advocacy organizations including the Domestic Abuse Project, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Delaware County Victim Assistance Center, and Every Child Counts.

In 2022:

  •  The Delaware County Victim Assistance Center received 3,427 hotline calls, had 2,435 court accompaniments, and served 1,392 clients.
  •  Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provided 223 children with advocacy and 124 children were provided with an Education Decision Maker.
  •  Family Support Line served 707 clients in the Child Advocacy Center, offered 1,300 hours of therapy, and had 178 hours of case management.
  •  Domestic Abuse Project had clients spend a total of 5,555 nights in emergency shelters, received 3,929 hotline calls, and had 482 court appearances and accompaniments.
  •  Juvenile Court and Probation Services served 1,714 victims, accompanied 152 victims to court, and had over $70,000 in restitution paid to juvenile victims.
  •  County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) received 988 reports of needs of seniors investigated.

“These County offices and victim advocacy organizations offer tremendous support and compassion to residents who have been victims of crime,” said Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer. “Many know firsthand the traumatic impact violent crimes have and have helped our residents heal and feel empowered and we are tremendously grateful for the work they do.”

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Vice Chair Schaefer presented members of several County offices and victim advocacy organizations with a resolution declaring April 23-29, 2023 as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Delaware County and commended those in attendance for the work they do each day to support, protect and advocate for victims of crime.

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