(Golden, CO – April 23, 2020) Across the country this week communities come together, at least in spirit, to honor crime victims during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 19-25, 2020. Ordinarily, in Jefferson County we would be preparing for the 27th annual Courage Walk on Saturday, April 25. The Courage Walk has always been an opportunity for victims and survivors, members of criminal justice agencies, law enforcement, victim service providers, and community volunteers to come together to celebrate the strength and courage of victims, and to speak out in unison for crime victims’ rights, today and in the future. Sadly, in the face of this worldwide public health emergency, the 2020 Courage Walk had to be cancelled. “While we cannot physically come together in celebration this year, we must not let this pandemic prevent us from honoring the strength and courage of victims and survivors,” said District Attorney Pete Weir.
The landmarks on the road to providing rights and services for victims of crime began in 1965, with the creation of the first crime victim compensation program, in California. From that point, local and national momentum continued to build.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first national Crime Victims’ Rights week.
In 1993, a constitutional amendment was passed in Colorado to help guarantee that all victims of crime are protected, treated with compassion, and have a voice in the justice system. The following year, in 1994, the first Courage Walk was held in Jefferson County.
“Justice for victims of crime is the cornerstone of the work we do,” says Weir, “It is an honor to support their remarkable hope and resiliency on their journey to healing.”