What are you planning to do for Crime Victims Week?

National Crime Victims Week is April 23-29. It's a week I look forward to every year as there are many advocacy groups that are planning exciting events to include RAINN's Operation Freefall (skydiving), 5ks runs, Walks, Rallies, Dinners, and other fundraising events. For the last three years, I have participated in the Carl Williams 5K Run for Victims in Nashville, TN and donated to local organizations. The 5k was coordinated and promoted by a very special lady in honor of her brother who was murdered several years ago. Today, his murder is still unsolved. The event is staffed by the organizer's family members and local advocates. Many crime victims also volunteer or actually participate in the run. It was very inspiring but unfortunately didn't yield as much attendance as other issue-related runs.

That trend of low attendance and participation continues in other crime-prevention and awareness events. It's surprising that this remains to be true year after year when the prevalence of crime is still ever present in many communities. It somehow has become, in the eyes of America, the government's responsibility or rather, problem. While it's true that we as citizens of this country pay taxes that fund programs and pay law enforcement's salaries, it's not enough. Every year, the budget gets smaller and smaller and the officers' caseload gets heavier and heavier.

To effect real change, each of us must become a "squeaky wheel" and demand that our legislature and President get tougher on crime and address issues that promulgate crime. We must get involved in the political process at the grass roots level up through our congressional representatives. We must compel them to resolve the situation.

This year I will be walking in the BARCC's walk and donate $$ to the a few of the organizations listed on the right. I hope that you will join me as well and send the message that we do care about the impact of crime and effects of violence on victims and society.