National Crime Victims' Rights Week is next week, April 18-24, and members of the non-profit Voice Support Group are honoring crime victims in Acadiana with a virtual rally.
The group typically rallies in person for victims and their families, but because of the pandemic will be holding a virtual rally on their Facebook page.
Each morning next week, you can go to the non-profit's Facebook page and see how victims are being honored that day.
Catalene Theriot, director of victim witness services for the 16th Judicial District Attorney's Office, explained that the organization wants families of crime victims to know that even though the group isn't meeting face-to-face every month, they are not forgotten.
"[We] want to make sure that families know they're not alone. There's always someone there that they can turn to and we're always here 24/7 to meet with them, just listen to them," explained Theriot. "I take calls at one, two o'clock in the morning. It doesn't matter."
Each year's rally usually includes a butterfly release, and this one will as well - but it will look just a little different, though Theriot didn't specify how the virtual release would work.
Family members are invited to share the names of their loved ones, a photo, a special message, or anything to share their memory.
"A lot of times people don't want to bring up loved ones' names because it might make you said, but we want you to bring up their names. We want to talk about them. We would love to see as many names and pictures that we can on that page."
Any crime victim's family member that would like to reach out to the group can call Theriot at 337-577-5088 - "I will take your call at any time of the day," she said. Anyone wishing to volunteer with the group can call the same number.
The group works hard throughout the state to make sure crime victims are not forgotten, Theriot added.
"It's very traumatic when you lose a loved one. Very. There's no such thing as closure. We learn to go on, to live our lives, but it's never closure. Because we can never get our loved one back."
Follow along with next week's events at Voice Support Group's Facebook page here.
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