Since 1981, the Dakota County Attorney’s Office has observed National Crime Victims’ Rights Week during the month of April. This week marks the challenge to the nation to confront and remove barriers to full justice for all victims of crime. During the “Stay at Home” order, the Dakota County Attorney’s

Office will observe the week by celebrating the achievements in serving crime victims throughout the year and reaffirm its commitment to providing accessible and trauma informed services.

The County Attorney’s office stands with the families, neighbors, friends and colleagues of those whose lives have been forever altered by crime. Collaboration is critical to its efforts. Often, professionals in the crime victims’ field excel at providing victims with specialized services but continue to face challenges connecting them to or delivering seamless, holistic services that address all of their needs. This year’s theme – Seek Justice. Ensure Victim’s Rights. Inspire Hope. – commemorates the progress made by all involved in the crime victims’ rights movement since its inception. Over the years, we have expanded the opportunity for victims to disclose their victimization, get connected to services, and receive the support they need.

The County Attorney’s Office commits to making its services more accessible and to building partnerships across the community so that all victims can receive the services they deserve. The National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a reminder to victims that they are not alone. During the COVID-19 crisis and Stay at Home order, we are very concerned about the rising levels of domestic violence.

The office’s partners at 360 Communities continue to offer resources in Dakota County for domestic violence and sexual assault. If you or someone you know needs assistance, call 651-452-7288, 24-hours a day. The Day One statewide crisis line (1-866-223-1111 or text 612-399-9995) is also available. Internet and phone scams are also on the rise during this pandemic and everyone should be on the lookout for suspicious emails or calls seeking private information or claiming to sell COVID-19 tests or other items or soliciting donations.

Residents should never give out personal information or credit/debit card numbers in response to email or phone solicitation without verifying the legitimacy of the request. Suspicious criminal activity of this nature should be reported to your local law enforcement agency. Staff in the Dakota County Attorney’s Office continue to provide information, support and resources to all victims of crime remotely at this time. For more information, contact Kelly Nicholson, victim witness

supervisor at 651-438-4471.

“Each day we work hard to reach all victims to help inspire hope in a time of adversity. Our staff seek justice for all whether harmed with personal trauma or financial losses that have been inflicted upon them by those who commit crimes in our community,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of crime, help is available. For more information regarding crime victims’ rights or other services go to the Dakota County Attorney at www.co.dakota.mn.us under Law & Justice.

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