NEWARK, NJ – Newark community organizations and agencies held an event this weekend to break the stigma of silence and intimidate yourself to speak as a crime victim.

In recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the event reached nearly 700 residents and provided information booths around West Side Park collecting community support resources such as United Community Corporation (UCC), Newark Community Solutions, and Outrageous Outreach. The event’s organizations provided attendees with informative services tailored specifically to crime victims and those in need, as well as essential home items such as free clothing, groceries and household appliances.

Together with officials from the Newark Police Division and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the event was an important step in helping individuals understand what resources to use if they fall victim to a crime.

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“The types of things that are here, like basic necessities like clothing and food, are incredibly important during the pandemic, but the resources offered here that are directly related to victimization and criminal justice are vital,” said Brian O. ‘Hara, Newark Public Safety Director, told TAPinto Newark. “I would like to take that up and do something like that in every neighborhood where we have officials in our communities and have all of these services available.”

“This is the type of event that will bring long-term benefit to our communities,” said Essex County Attorney Theodore Stephens. “Prosecution is not just about prosecuting crimes, we are part of that larger community.”

The event was funded by the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime. Working with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), the event was also designed to raise awareness of the wide range of rights and services available to those who have been victims of crime.

Since 2004, the NCVRW Community Awareness Project has supported more than 1,000 community projects that promote victim and public awareness activities, as well as innovative approaches to victim contact and education.

This year, UCC was one of the 106 recommended by the NAVAA and selected from the 242 applications submitted nationwide for funding by the Office for Crime Victims.

“We want to make sure crime victims have the resources they need to overcome a victim’s trauma. It is badly needed in this community, ”said Craig Mainor, Executive Director of UCC. “With the scars associated with the victim, people sometimes choose not to seek the advice necessary to use the resources at their disposal and then become even more victims.”

The event was also held in honor of former UCC board secretary Pastor Veronice Horne, who passed away on November 9, 2020. Horne had a distinguished career in the community service and was also a director of the Goodwill Rescue Mission. In 2011 she founded her passion project The Hands of a Woman Ministry Inc., in which she lend a hand to women who have to do with homelessness, addiction and abuse.

With her mind at the forefront, UCC hosted the sales event to show the same power and spirit that Horne displayed daily while serving the people of Newark who were in dire need of help.

“This was more than a mission for Pastor Horne. This was her drive and her strength, ”said Mainor. “She was one of the vocal advocates of women as survivors. She has an amazing story and one that anyone who goes through this should hear, read, or try to relate to it. I know she would have been proud of it and I am honored to do so on her behalf. “

For more information on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2021 activities or the rights and services of victims in the cities of Newark and Essex Counties, contact David Baquerizo at [email protected] at 973-621-8295 or on our website at https://uccnewark.org/voca/.

For information on national efforts to promote National Crime Victims ‘Rights Week in 2021, please visit the Office for Crime Victims’ website at www.ovc.gov.