April 18, 2024 - April 21-27, 2024, marks National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Communities throughout the nation will rally to honor and support victims of crime. This year’s theme- “How would you help? Options, services, and hope for crime survivors.”

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week provides a time of nationwide remembrance, reflection, and re-commitment for crime victims and those who serve them. The Victim Assistance Program of the Fort Wayne Police Department will host their annual Candlelight Vigil to recognize victims and survivors of violent crimes. We invite you to attend the vigil with your family and other supporters. The theme this year “How would you help? Options, services, and hope for crime survivors”- presents the opportunity to highlight the importance of providing needed services at the earliest stage of victimization. Early intervention helps prevent both further victimization and involvement in the criminal justice system, thus addressing the cycle of violence and restoring hope for the future.

Only 30 years ago, crime victims had virtually no rights and no assistance. The criminal justice system often seemed indifferent to their needs. Victims were commonly excluded from courtrooms and denied the chance to speak at sentencing. They had no access to victim compensation or services to help rebuild their lives. There were few avenues to deal with their emotional and physical wounds. Victims were on their own to recover their health, security, and dignity.

The Candlelight Vigil is one way to bring honor to all crime victims by promoting a greater understanding of crime victims’ needs and the critical importance of working together to help all victims of crime rebuild their lives. Crime victim services include information regarding their rights, their involvement in and support throughout the justice process as more than a witness; and rights to information about compensation programs and supportive services that can help them cope with the aftermath of crime.

The following is Victim Assistance’s schedule for 2024:

Candlelight Vigil

Monday, April 22, 2024, at 5:30p.m. Public Safety Academy

7602 Patriot Crossing, Fort Wayne, IN 46816

We hope that you will be able to attend the Vigil and join in as we honor victims of violent crime. We look forward to seeing you on Monday, April 22, 2024, at 5:30.