What is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week?

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — Crime happens everyday and you never know when you may become a victim. In 1987, Troy alumna Darlene Hutchinson was a kidnapping victim who escaped in her second day of capture.

“Never expected it,” Hutchinson said. “Never thought that would happen to me as most of us don’t expect that.”

Since then, she has advocated for crime victim’s rights. In 2017, she was appointed by former President Trump as the Director for the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. Today, she continues to help crime victims as a Commissioner for Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission.

“I was able to figure out a lot about the criminal justice system and have used that to help a lot of other victims navigate the system.”


“…it’s really, really important to seek these services that are out there. It can really contribute to your quality of life.”

Darlene Hutchinson

With this week being National Crime Victim’s Rights Week, Hutchinson wants to raise awareness about the needs of crime victims — including mental health and financial compensation. She recounted how she felt on her own journey of healing.

“I thought I could handle all of what I was going through and the trauma and the emotional strain that I was going through on my own. I thought that I’m tough and I’m resilient and I can do this. But it’s really, really important to seek these services that are out there. It can really contribute to your quality of life.”

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Hutchinson notes that it is important for everyone to be aware of the needs of crime victims in order to help.

“Sometimes, the first person a crime victim will tell about what’s occurred to them, is a friend or close family member. If that family member or friend gives them an empathetic response and are compassionate, then that may put them on the path to healing much faster.”

Over all, Hutchinson says no matter what you have been through, there is always hope for the future.

If you are interested in learning more about National Crime Victim’s Rights week, the Department of Justice has released a resource guide for the public with more information.

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