Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin will join U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Mayor Angel Taveras on Wednesday, April 25, at the annual Victims' Grove Ceremony to honor individuals and organizations committed to providing support and resources for victims. The public and media are welcome to attend.
When: 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Where: Memorial Park (across from the Licht Judicial Complex) South Main Street, Providence
April 22 – 28, 2012 is National Crime Victims' Rights Week, a time to honor victims and the advocates of victims' rights. This year's theme – "Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim" – captures the spirit and resolve needed to realize our common goal of reaching each victim in need of hope and help, one victim at a time.
"I am humbled to take part in this ceremony to recognize the outstanding contributions of these individuals. Too often victims of crime have been overlooked of excluded from the judicial process. The individuals we honor have demonstrated exemplary dedication and compassion in helping victims of crime to rebuild their lives, giving them hope for the future and a greater voice in the process."
The 2012 honorees are:
Sgt. William Merandi (retired), who for a number of years, headed up the Special Victims Unit at Providence Police Department. Sgt. Merandi will be honored for his work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault as well as his collaboration with the annual Victims Grove Ceremony.
Theresa Mello, a volunteer advocate with Day One since 2008 on the Victims of Crime Helpline. Ms. Mello has traveled to hospitals and police departments countless times to support victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Anyeli Huertas, a former student at the Blackstone Academy Charter School, where last year she completed her senior project on human trafficking. Ms. Huertas also collected clothing and other donations for the Polaris Project, which operates the National Resource Center for Human Trafficking. She is now majoring in psychology at Rhode Island College.
Robert McKenna, Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Roger Williams University, and Stephanie Manzi, Dean of the School of Justice Studies at Roger Williams University. Manzi and McKenna have partnered with Family Service of RI since 2008 to develop Rhode Island's first Victim Assistance Academy. The Academy is now in its fourth year and its success would not have been made possible without their extensive experience and contributions.
Gale James, Director of the U.S. Attorney's Victim Witness Assistance Program, has been the chair of the Crime Victim Service Provider's Steering Committee for years and has overseen the Victims Grove Ceremony.
The Victims Grove Ceremony is coordinated by the Rhode Island Crime Victim Service Providers Steering Committee, a collaboration of victim service providers from the federal, state, and community level.