The Hall County Solicitor and District Attorney’s offices concluded National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a special ceremony Friday, honoring a local agency that provides hope to victims of sexual abuse.
The sixth annual Victims’ Rights Butterfly Release was held at 11 a.m. at Keyon Plaza next to the Hall County Courthouse. As a part of the program, Solicitor Stephanie Woodard gave special recognition to the Edmonson-Telford Center for Children and the work that the organization has done since its founding in 1997.
“The Edmonson-Telford Center for Children is an invaluable resource in our community when it comes to the effective prosecution of child abuse and child molestation cases,” Woodard said. “They provide a safe environment for children, giving them an opportunity to work toward healing after unimaginable trauma.”
The Edmonson-Telford Center for Children was created following the death of 19-month-old Austin Sparks, the Hall County toddler who died at the hands of his abusers and whose death sparked outrage and action in the Gainesville-Hall County community. Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch was honored for his work on the Austin Sparks case earlier this week at the dedication of a garden named in Austin’s memory.
The Edmonson-Telford Center for Children was just one of several agencies highlighted throughout the month of April by Hall County officials in observance of Victims’ Rights Week. Rape Response, Children’s Center for Hope and Healing, Gateway Domestic Violence Center, New Hope Counseling, Family Ties, Family Recovery, Creation Counseling, Family Connection, Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Family Promise and Legacy Link were also recognized for their dedication to preserving victims’ rights.
Following the recognition of the Edmonson-Telford Center for Children at Friday’s event, those in attendance received small envelopes containing butterflies, which were released by the crowd to symbolize their hopes and prayers for crime victims and the advancement of victims’ rights in the community.
“It is my hope that all victims of crime will be allowed to grow and prosper as confident and strong individuals that are free from fear,” said District Attorney Lee Darragh.
For additional information about the 2015 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and how to assist victims in your community, please contact the Hall County Solicitor’s Office at 770-531-7012. For additional ideas on how to support victims of crime, visit the Office for Victims of Crime website, www.ovc.gov.