In our community, virtually everyone is or knows a victim or survivor of crime.

Crime is not “somebody else’s problem” but, rather, a collective challenge that has often devastating effects on individuals, families, neighborhoods, schools, businesses and our community as a whole.

During 2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), April 10 to 16 – we can embrace this special week’s theme “Serving Victims, Building Trust, Restoring Hope” right here in Fort Myers FL.
Anyone in our community can simply be there to help a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or employee touched by crime, in the immediate aftermath and in the long run. You can simply say “I’m sorry” and do whatever is needed to help a victim feel safe and supported.

Agencies, businesses and organizations can volunteer to help all crime victims at Fort Myers Police Department, by strengthen our efforts to provide quality services and support to survivors who greatly need them. By participating in the 2016 NCVRW awareness project, agencies will have the opportunity to provide their organizations, business, or agencies specific service information as it relates to victims of crime needs to victims of crime, surviving family members and the public.

We can all empower victims by simply treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve, and by avoiding anything that judges, blames or shames them. Empowerment means supporting victims’ choices whether or not to report a crime; helping victims who do report to understand justice processes and their rights; making sure they have access to health and mental health services if they need them; and doing whatever is needed to help them on their often difficult journey to justice and healing.

On Saturday April 16th 2016 at 2:00 pm in Centennial Park, the Fort Myers Police Department invites crime victim service providers from our community, surviving crime victims and their families to join us for this year’s Annual Butterfly Release Ceremony and Crime Victim Service Provider Awareness event. This event is open to the public. Area victim service provider agencies and organizations will be in attendance to provide victim support services information and resource information. Special memorial keepsake craft tables will be set up for victims of crime and their families.

Please help us to make sure that victim’s rights and services are not just celebrated annually but practiced daily.

This project is supported by a National Crime Victims’ Right Week Community Awareness Project sub-grant awarded by the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators under a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

For more information please contact:

Chevala Jones, Crime Victim Advocate
Fort Myers Police Department
2210 Widman Way
Fort Myers, FL. 33901

Chevala Jones will be available to the media, tomorrow (April 14, 2016) at 10:00 a.m. here at the police department.

Jim Mulligan
Captain – Operations Bureau/Public Information Office
Fort Myers Police Department
2210 Widman Way
Fort Myers, Florida 33901