AUGUSTA – “This is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and there wouldn’t be a Crime Victims’ Rights Week if there weren’t a need for it.”
The overarching theme of this week is “strength, resilience, and justice”, and for a group gathering to discuss its unique experience as families of crime victims, that mindset can be invaluable.
“They need to understand that they are not alone,” said Arthur Jette, leader of the Maine Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. “For victims of homicide survivors, that need is even deeper because there is no way that any form of justice can make them whole again.”
The criminal justice process was a highlight of Sunday’s meeting, bridging the gap between the families and the public institutions trying to solve the cases hitting closest to home.
“It is possible to create institutionalized relationships with the vast array of public safety institutions in Maine,” said Jette. “We’re all people who want to be helping people.”
Maine’s Unsolved Homicide Unit was in attendance, and shared its experiences after wrapping up its first year in existence – the hope being that what often feels like a cold and impersonal process can start to feel a little more human to those its most intended to serve.
“We have to keep a lot of our work close to our vest,” said Lieutenant Jeff Love, “but an opportunity to come here and sit down with some of the families, we can highlight some of the success that we’ve had.”
It’s the 13th year the Maine Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children has hosted this event, and while these families can never replace what they’ve lost, more steps are being taken each year to make that unique experience just a bit easier to handle.
“There is just nothing that beats someone who cares being in your corner,” said Jette, “so you don’t feel like you’re alone.”