While walking downtown, I stopped in to personally shake hands with John Yarnell at It’s About Thyme, and Jonathan Krawchuk with Culpeper Media, then over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. From there I visited our County Administrator John Egertson, and our Board of Supervisors. I wish I had the ability to personally shake hands with all those who support Victims’ Rights. From Chief Chris Jenkins and Team Jordan, to Sheriff Scott Jenkins and Captain Gary Wilson with the state police, Delegate Nick Freitas and Mayor Olinger as well as the Town Council, and so many friends who showed their support of Culpeper’s Victim Witness Program last week as we celebrated National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. What an honor to have Sen. Bryce Reeves as our guest speaker who delivered a powerful, heart-felt speech on victims’ rights. And all were thrilled as we honored Sgt. Norma McGuckin with our annual Victims Advocacy Award. I just wish to thank everyone who came out and supported us. I also thank the community of Culpeper. What a wonderful group of citizens.
This year’s theme is “Serving Victims, Building Trust, Restoring Hope.” There is so much unity, and that is how we get things done. Paul Walther has opened his door to our program, and he and his team work with us almost daily in an effort to make sure victims and witnesses of crime are well cared for. So I thank my assistant Karah, Margaret with SAFE, and our court clerks and court personnel, the prosecuting attorneys, as well as the men and women in uniform, and all our allied professionals for working together for the good of the citizens we serve. When we have events, it is almost impossible to thank each and every individual involved. This is why I write this letter publicly. You know who you are, and I appreciate each of you. Like my colleagues Ginny and Cindy, so many have shared with me that they are not worried about public recognition, rather the focus should be on helping survivors and promoting awareness. People are so kind with donations, and volunteering and services.
So I thank you, Culpeper community, for the tireless support and encouragement as we work together to end violence. Finally, I humbly recognize my heroes, the survivors that endure the heartaches, struggles and the ache of victimization. I am proud of your courage and strength. May you push through the grieving, move peacefully into healing, and may you be strengthened as you move forward as a survivor.
Mark W. Nowacki
Culpeper Victim/Witness Program