Some things don’t change

Published 9:42 pm Friday, April 24, 2020

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Even in the midst of a global pandemic, some things remain constant.

That’s why we’re so glad the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office found a way to commemorate the annual observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, even if it wasn’t in the usual way.

Typically, there is a formal program held every April for this observance. But this year is different, because of the pandemic. So the office placed a sign on display in the Godwin Courts Building courtyard on North Main Street last week, with numerous blue ribbons representing crime victims in Suffolk.

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Representatives of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, including top prosecutor C. Phillips “Phil” Ferguson and Victim/Witness Services Director Diane Bryant, practiced safe social distancing as they hung the sign last week. They said they didn’t want to let the current situation deter them from the annual recognition for crime victims.

“We do feel that we should remember and never forget those who have been victimized by crime,” Ferguson said. “That is what we’re trying to accomplish with the signs and the ribbons.”

This annual observance emphasizes that crime victims have rights and deserve to have access to information and resources to help them navigate the challenging situations they have found themselves in through no fault of their own.

This year, the pandemic has brought to the top of everyone’s minds victims of two crimes in particular — domestic violence and child abuse. With families distancing from others by staying at home, partners and children who are already not in safe circumstances may be more at risk.

“We’re in the office reaching out to children (and) working with their families to make sure that they’re safe, especially at this time where there’s a lot of anxiety in society,” Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Marie Walls said last week.

We applaud the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for its dedication to this annual recognition.