The office of Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, through a grant from the Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission, will be recognizing "National Crime Victims' Rights Week" with a display at Courtland Center Mall in Burton on Sunday, April 22 from noon-5 p.m.

Sunday marks the start of National Crime Victims' Rights Week which is celebrated in communities across America as a way to honor victims of crime and recognize our nation's progress in advancing their rights under law. This year's theme is "Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim" and celebrates the vision behind that progress and the ideal of serving all victims of crime. Crime victims advocates and interns from Saginaw Valley State University who work in the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office will be providing information and giving away pens, magnets and candy in an effort to promote public awareness about crime victim rights.

More then 30 years ago, a movement began to take hold across the country that recognized the fact that while the criminal justice system had many safeguards in place to protect the rights of defendants, there were very few safeguard in place to protect victims of crime. Not only did victims suffer physical and emotional harm and financial losses, but many times they felt victimized all over again once their cases began to wind their way through a sometimes complicated criminal justice system. In response, victims and advocates of all kinds began organizing to confront these challenges and to promote fair, compassionate, and respectful responses to victims of crime. Today in Michigan, prosecutors in all 83 counties must provide assistance and advocacy to victims under the Crime Victim's Right Act.

Leyton said "providing advocacy to victims of crime is one of the most important responsibilities of my office. Not only do we need to hold criminals responsible for their actions under the rule of law, but at the same time we need to reach out and assist our fellow citizens who have been victims of crime."