National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Though it is May, we are taking some time to reflect on National Crime Victims’ Rights week which was April 19-25, 2020. According to the National Office for Victims of Crime, “the weeklong initiative promotes victims’ rights and honors crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf”.
Promoting Victims’ Rights
When a crime is committed against an individual, instead of feeling free and supported to navigate the situation as they see best, victims often feel as if their freedom and rights are taken away from them. People who have been victimized are often unaware of the rights promised to them under various laws and policies which were created to support victims of crime. At the Student Victim Assistance website, you can find the “Victims’ Rights” and “Sexual Assault Victim Bill of Rights” under the “Need Help?” tab. These pages describe some of the victims’ rights which are protected by law such as reasonable, accurate and timely notice of the arrest, release or escape of the accused and restitution (item replacement or monetary compensation for one’s loss).
Honoring Crime Victims
Student Victim Assistance would like to highlight the story of Anthony “Apple” Michael Hawkins, age 21, from Barrow County, Georgia. He was killed early Saturday morning on Highway 316 in Barrow County on September 10th, 2016. The crash occurred just two hours before the 2016 Rise Up and Run 5K / Walk Like MADD at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Anthony was a 2013 graduate of Apalachee High School where he was an athlete on the cross country, soccer, and track teams. He continued his education as a college student at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia. Anthony was the assistant manager for Domino’s Pizza. Anthony was hit head on by a drunk driver, who also died in the crash. He was adored by his family and friends. As a cross country runner for Apalachee he inherited the nickname “Apple.” He was only 21 years old, but his infectious smile and his huge heart will always be remembered by his family and friends. Anthony was devoted to his faith, and it showed in the way he treated everyone that he met.
Honoring Crime Victims’ Advocates
The Student Victim Assistance staff for the 2019-2020 school year are Senior Coordinator, Monique Massey and Coordinator, Kimberly McNeal. Their individual former work experiences make them highly qualified and equipped for the service they provide to Georgia State University students. As victim advocates, they ensure that students feel empowered to navigate their situation as they want, but also provide the resources and knowledge to help students make informed decisions and achieve the best outcomes no matter what they decide. Even as the University continues to function online instead of in person, the Student Victim Assistance Team are fully committed to assisting students so feel free to call and make an appointment if needed.
If you are facing immediate danger, call 911. Georgia State University Police can be reached by dialing 3333. For non-emergency assistance, call Student Victim Assistance at 404-413-1965 and press 2 to speak with an on-call advocate. Student Victim Assistance staff will follow up on the following business day.