April 9, 2014
Law enforcement members took time Wednesday to honor some of their own, who fight for the rights of crime victims.
The ceremony in Charlottesville City Hall on Wednesday morning was part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. .
Awards were presented to five local police officers, Commonwealths Attorneys and other law enforcement members for their commitment to helping victims.
The five individuals and one agency were recognized for their commitment to helping victims not only through the crime itself, but the trial and aftermath as well.
Abuse victim Kim Treadway spoke during the ceremony to thank those who helped her when she brought forward sex abuse charges against her father.
"I've never come in contact with anyone in law enforcement that hasn't been 100 percent there for me. From the time I went to the sheriff’s office to give my initial statement to the time I went to court, everyone has been patient and sweet and nice," Treadway said.
Treadway suffered abuse at the hands of her father from the time she was three until she was 20, but didn't report the crimes until she was 40. With the help of law enforcement her father was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Treadway hopes that by sharing how supportive law enforcement was to her, other crime victims will find the courage to come forward.
"It only takes that one moment to go into that office, to go into that sheriff's office or police department, and just say it one time. Once you get in contact with that person, you will never be sorry that you did it," said Treadway.
U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy also spoke saying that while victims’ advocacy has come a long way in the last 30 years, it is still important to make sure justice is served not only to the criminal, but for those who suffered the crime.