NEW ORLEANS - 04-03-2017
Sheriff Marlin Gusman today attended the opening of the Sun Art Project for victims of crime to kickoff a week-long observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week in New Orleans. The Sun Art Project is on display at the New Orleans Healing Center.
Highlights of the week include a community roundtable, memorial balloon release and a tutu march through the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which started yesterday and ends Saturday, is designed to draw the public's attention to the emotional, physical and financial burdens crime victims must endure. The week also provides the opportunity to recognize the various services that are available to crime victims and their families.
This year's theme is "Strength. Resilience. Justice." This reflects a vision for the future in which all victims are strengthened by the response they receive, organizations are resilient in response to challenges, and communities are able to seek collective justice and healing, according to the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crimes, which coordinates the annual awareness campaign.
The week's events include:
- Monday, April 3, "Wear Blue Peace Day," in support of child abuse prevention.
- Tuesday, April 4, "Violence in Our City," a community roundtable discussion, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at the Orleans Justice Center, 2800 Perdido St., New Orleans
- Thursday, April 6, "Tutu Walk for Sexual Assault Awareness," 6 p.m. The walk begins at Washington Square Park, 700 Elysian Fields Ave. The route takes tutu-wearing marchers up Royal Street to Bienville Street, then down Bourbon to Toulouse, to Decatur Street and returning to Washington Square Park via Elysian Fields.
- Friday, April 7, Memorial Balloon Release, sponsored by Silence is Violence. Crime victims will release biodegradable balloons at 6 p.m., at Bayou St. John near Orleans Avenue.
- Saturday, April 8, in conjunction with the French Quarter Festival, the New Orleans Police Department will host a crime victims' resource booth, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., at its 8th District station, 334 Royal St., in the French Quarter.
Planning and hosting this year's events are the district attorney's offices and law enforcement agencies in Jefferson, Orleans and Plaquemines parishes; the coroner's offices in Jefferson and Orleans parishes; Silence is Violence; the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Covenant House, through Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force; Metropolitan Center for Women and Children; and Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR) of New Orleans.
In addition, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office operates the Crime Victims Assistance Program. In 2016, the program assisted 338 crime victims and disbursed nearly $464,000 for eligible expenses, including funeral expenses and medical bills.
For more information about OPSO's Crime Victims Assistance Program, contact Sgt. Stephanie Minto, claims investigator and program director, at 504-202-9229 or 504-872-1059.