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Mar 28, 2013 1:22 PM by Faye DeHoff

County attorney to promote crime awareness in April

TUCSON - April has been designated as a month of Awareness and Action to Aid Victims of Crime by Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall.

County Attorney LaWall encourages the community to participate this April in the many different outreach and educational activities that support victims of crime and promote efforts to prevent violence.

"April is a time to ensure victims of crime get the support and assistance they need and to raise awareness about how these crimes impact not only the individual victims, but our entire community. We must work together to make Pima County a place where everyone is free to participate fully in the life of our community without fear for their safety or that of their loved ones." said LaWall.

April is both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. County Attorney LaWall says these crimes are all too common in our communities and too often go underreported and victims do not get the help they need. She adds that April is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about the devastating impact of sexual assault and child abuse and take steps, as a community, to better support survivors while working to reduce and eliminate these crimes.

April 21-27th is also National Crime Victims' Rights Week. This year's theme - New Challenges, New Solutions - recognizes that while the issues facing crime victims continue to change, the Victims' Rights movement continues to mature to better respond to these emerging needs. "I am proud of the new programs and initiatives that my office has implemented in the past few years to provide new solutions to these new challenges." said LaWall.

Some of these innovations include:

· Kids in Court Program designed to lessen the stress on child victims on cases that may have to go to trial.
· Russell, our new Courthouse Dog, who provides invaluable comfort and care to children and teenagers who have experience abuse or sexual assault.
· Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Program and Fatality Review Team, designed both to identify those victims at greatest risk and to close any gaps in services to these victims.

The Pima County Attorney's Office has a list of outreach and educational activities that will take place in April, which can be downloaded at: www.pcao.pima.gov/victimservicesdivision.aspx <http://www.pcao.pima.gov/victimservicesdivision.aspx>.

County Attorney LaWall urges everyone to participate in these community activities that support crime victims, support the work of non-profit agencies that help victims, and help promote violence prevention efforts.

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