Annually, 18.7 million Americans are affected by crime according to the federal Office for Victims of Crime. The Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s office held a ceremony for local victims of crime, Tuesday to coincide with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week which runs April 21 - April 27.
Dan Knight, Boone County prosecuting attorney, said his office has approximately 3,800 pending criminal cases. He said victims who were present for the criminal act are often traumatized and in need of assistance which social services and law enforcement can usually provide.
“We have thousands of victims every year right here in Boone County that need assistance," Knight said. "They’ve, in some cases, endured quite a bit of trauma, and it’s very important for those social service agencies to be available to help victims."
Knight honored Ruby Marsden, chief investigator with the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, for her work in building relationships with crime victims and witnesses. Marsden said much has changed since she took the position 20 years ago.
“The laws have changed to where it allows us to do things, get information and help people that we weren’t able to help before," Marsden said.
Marsden said it’s sometimes difficult to build a relationship with the victims in each case.
“Listen to them even if they’re not cooperative," Marsden said. "I think they want to be, and sometimes they’re afraid. Sometimes they just don’t have someone to back them up. You just need to listen to them and get them to safety.”