KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Several Tennessee agencies and groups are joining together to honor crime victims during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The theme of this year’s week, Rights, access, equity, for all victims, emphasizes the significance of helping crime survivors find justice.

In Knoxville, DA Charme Allen kicked off the week will a rally at the Knoxville Family Justice Center Auditorium to raise awareness of victims’ rights and to stand with families whose lives have been changed by crime.

“Being the victim of a crime is a horrific thing to go through. No matter what crime you are experiencing so it is a time for us to be able to honor those that have been through the system. And also really as a system, focus on doing a better job on taking care of those victims,” said Allen.

Hope for Victims, a Knoxville non-profit, will be hosting a candlelight ceremony on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Police Department to honor all victims of crime.

The Board of Parole, Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction are also hosting several events throughout the state to recognize victim advocates for their efforts.

  • April 25 at 10 a.m. CDT – Tree planting ceremony in Nashville at Tennessee State Library and Archives (1001 Rep. John Lewis Way North).
  • April 27 at 11 a.m. EDT – Dove release in Chattanooga at Chest Frost Park (2277 Gold Point North, Hixson, TN 37343).
  • April 29 at 2 p.m. CDT – Lantern release in Memphis at Shelby County Office of Re-Entry (1362 Mississippi Blvd., Memphis, TN 38106).

“We look forward to hosting these events in person again to help raise awareness of local resources available to victims and renew our commitment to serve victims of crime,” said Parole Board Chairman Richard Montgomery.

“The Tennessee Department of Correction is committed to ensuring a safer Tennessee for all families. Through recognized principles and evidence-based practices, our focus remains on reducing the risk of repeat criminal behavior, recidivism, and future victimization,” Lisa Helton, TDOC Interim Commissioner, added.

Learn more about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on the Office for Victims of Crime’s website.