Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson offered a tribute to crime victims and the people supporting them on April 25 at the Tarrant County Administration Building, 100 E. Weatherford St., in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“What we found is that we focused on the crime and we focused on the criminal and we forgot about the victim. And that happened for so many years,” Whitley said. “And finally, we began to say, ‘Wait a minute, we have someone who has basically felt the effect of that crime that we’ve just kind of forgotten about.’”

Whitley said people want the criminals convicted and punished for the crime that they committed, but they also want to focus on making sure that individuals can recover and can go back to living as normal of a life as they possibly can and not be forgotten.

Tarrant County honored victims and survivors of crimes at five subcourthouses around the county on April 25. The county unveiled wreaths with ribbons as a “tribute to crime victims and a promise that all victims will have the rights and services they need to recover from crime,” according to a press release from the criminal district attorney’s office.

Officials wanted to “recognize the help of all of our partners in the community because, while we are the prosecutors and happy to prosecute crimes on behalf of our victims, we can’t provide all the services that those victims need to be able to go on with their lives and be able to be survivors,” Wilson said.

Fort Worth Police’s victim assistance unit worker Melissa Padilla said the department’s unit helps victims with notification of emergency protective orders, sign victims up for crime victim compensation, safety planning to prevent additional trauma, crisis intervention and generally guiding them through the criminal justice process.

Some of the organizations present in the administration building included Safe Haven, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Women’s Center, Tarrant County Sheriff’s office, One Safe Place, Tarrant County Juvenile Probation Office and the Fort Worth Police Department’s victim assistance unit.

The five subcourthouses where wreaths were presented were: the Tarrant County Administration Building; Southwest Subcourthouse; Northeast Subcourthouse; Subcourthouse in Arlington; and Northwest Subcourthouse.

“We just want to remember all the crime victims. It kind of gives me chills because we’re all here today and it is cheerful and so many bad things have happened for us to get to be here today,” Wilson said.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Avatar photo

Cristian ArguetaSoto

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. He can be reached at cristian.arguetasoto@fortworthreport.org or (817) 317-6991.