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Fort Wayne crime victims honored virtually during National Crime Victims' Rights Week amid COVID-19

What would normally happen in person, support for crime victims and their families have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing advocacy groups to get creative to support their clients.

Posted: Apr 21, 2020 7:43 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2020 10:27 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- COVID-19 is impacting many aspects of life right now, including families seeking justice for crimes. 

People usually come together this week to celebrate National Crime Victims' Rights Week, to help remember victims of crime throughout Fort Wayne, as well as provide information on what the victims' rights are.

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Court cases are still happening inside the Allen County courthouse, which means victims and their families are still seeking support.

That support sometimes happens face-to-face, but due to social distancing, that’s not able to happen for Fort Wayne Police’s Victim Assistance program, according to Director Jessica Crozier.

"Things that maybe we would typically do in person with them, we are conducting over the phone. We're still contacting our victims every morning to let them know what their rights are, what options they have," Crozier said.

Amy Davis, Co-Founder of JAVA in Fort Wayne says that’s what National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is all about.

"You become a victim or your family becomes a victim, you don't know what your rights are or even if you have any right. So, this week is to bring awareness to the rights that crime victims have," Davis said.

That could mean letting families know they’re allowed to sit in on court hearings and get updates about their cases.

Davis explained victims and their families rely on coming together to seek hope, but now it’s all video calls until it’s safe to gather again.

"Our monthly meetings that people turn to to find out hope and encouragement they're not able to come face-to-face," she explained. "If they don't have internet or computer they're not going to be able to meet with us.”

Typically on the Tuesday of Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Victim Assistance holds a candlelight vigil to remember those impacted by crime, but this year they had to get creative, making a virtual vigil to honor crime victims the best they could during this time.

"I think it would have been really easy to say oh we can't have the candlelight vigil this year so we're just not going to do it," Crozier explained. "We look forward to that event every year and we want clients to know that we are thinking of them. Just because you're welcome one is gone they're not forgotten and it's really important that they know that."

Inside the video on Facebook are a number of resources and agencies victims of crime can reach out to for help.

Contact Victim Assistance at 260-427-1205

Contact JAVA on their Facebook page #JAVA (Justice, Accountability & Victims Advocacy)

WATCH BELOW: Victim Assistance created a virtual vigil to help honor and remember victims of crimes in the Summit City.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
St. Joseph34157541
Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
Porter17935299
Johnson17544374
Hendricks16822310
Clark12697190
Madison12353337
Vigo12219244
Monroe11469166
LaPorte11162204
Delaware10366184
Howard9664211
Kosciusko9134114
Hancock7990139
Bartholomew7893155
Warrick7691155
Floyd7563176
Wayne6906198
Grant6844171
Boone6556100
Morgan6405138
Dubois6085117
Marshall5786108
Dearborn570376
Cass5685102
Henry5579101
Noble542683
Jackson493569
Shelby479495
Lawrence4342118
Gibson429089
Harrison428570
Clinton419753
Montgomery418086
DeKalb411184
Whitley380239
Huntington379880
Miami372865
Knox366689
Steuben365757
Putnam353160
Jasper350946
Wabash347878
Adams338052
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308454
Daviess289499
Wells286481
Decatur279092
Fayette277262
Greene270785
Posey268833
Scott261153
LaGrange253670
Clay253544
Randolph235680
Washington231031
Spencer228031
Jennings225047
Fountain208845
Sullivan207942
Starke204752
Owen192356
Fulton192039
Jay186429
Carroll185920
Perry180736
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton161043
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113845
Newton104234
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82915
Warren79715
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1054807

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1225191356
Cuyahoga1074592069
Hamilton783261168
Montgomery50176996
Summit45557909
Lucas40298765
Butler37768570
Stark31513895
Lorain24246473
Warren23910293
Mahoning20946583
Lake20067362
Clermont19459229
Delaware18085130
Licking16149207
Fairfield15757197
Trumbull15627460
Medina14922259
Greene14706236
Clark13660293
Wood12806185
Portage12431196
Allen11352229
Richland11067198
Miami10548214
Muskingum8717127
Wayne8594209
Columbiana8569226
Pickaway8439121
Marion8390135
Tuscarawas8387240
Erie7600154
Hancock6730123
Ross6707146
Geauga6553146
Ashtabula6530165
Scioto6295101
Belmont5634158
Union558447
Lawrence5470102
Jefferson5343147
Huron5314114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5189120
Seneca5139120
Washington5087107
Athens503856
Auglaize476284
Mercer471984
Shelby456590
Knox4397108
Madison423959
Putnam421799
Ashland413488
Fulton410567
Defiance404296
Crawford3883101
Brown386955
Logan374476
Preble371098
Clinton362160
Ottawa357978
Highland347459
Williams328674
Champaign321557
Jackson308551
Guernsey307549
Perry290549
Fayette278048
Morrow275939
Hardin264764
Henry264366
Coshocton259857
Holmes253499
Van Wert239262
Pike233831
Gallia233446
Adams229152
Wyandot227553
Hocking209759
Carroll189447
Paulding168838
Meigs141738
Noble132937
Monroe128941
Morgan106823
Harrison105636
Vinton81614
Unassigned02
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