YUMA, AZ - The theme of National Crime Victims' Rights Week is marked by tragedies from the Boston Marathon bombing to the murder of a Wellton resident 29-year old Christal Figueroa. These tragedies have shown us all the searing impact that violent crime has on so many victims.
13 On Your Side spoke to the County Attorney's Office. They tell us just 30 years ago victims had to pay for their own evaluations if they were victims of a sexual assault. They say within three decades we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
Just one week after the Boston bombings victims of this cruel crime will have to live with the repercussions of that day for the rest of their lives. However, victims of crimes gaining national attention and crimes closer to home like the murder of Christal Figuerora who was shot multiple times and dumped in an orange grove south of Yuma now have rights thanks to crime victim advocates like Linda King.
For 13 years, King, who works at the Yuma County Attorney's Office says she has seen growth in victims rights especially in victim compensation. King says "We've come a long way from the beginning where victims were actually asked to wait outside the court room and weren't allowed to come in, had no rights whatsoever to speak. So those laws have changed to allow our victims to be in court room through all court proceedings and have opportunity in certain court hearings to address the court."
Advocates also face other challenges such as funding to help support victims during their time of crisis whether it be for medical expenses, funeral arrangements or just a place to stay.
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