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.