Organization offers counseling resources for crime victims

INDIANAPOLIS - A violent crime can happen in an instant, but it can have long-lasting effects on victims.

It is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and local organizers held the 10th annual ROCC-a-thon on Monument Circle on Thursday.

ROCC stands for Reaching Out to Citizens affected by Crime and its purpose is to raise awareness about victims' rights and resources available in the community for victims of violence.

At Legacy House , those resources include free counseling for victims as long as they need it -- family trauma counseling, support groups and crisis intervention.

Group organizers said they know crimes go well beyond the moment they occur, or the person attacked or killed. They affect whole families and communities.

Statistics show that crime is a vicious cycle that often starts young. A third of the crime victims they counsel at Legacy House are children.

"If you look at perpetrators of crime you're going to see that many of them have had experiences with violence as young people. And so if we can get to the young people early as mentors, as service providers, in counseling, in every way that we can, then we're going to help those young people from then continuing a culture of violence," Michael Hurst with Legacy House said.

Charles McMillan mentors at-risk youth to keep them off the streets and keep them from turning to a life of crime.

He spent years trying to mask his own grief with drugs and alcohol after a double-murder suicide that took the lives of his daughters and their mother. He understands the lifelong effects of a single crime.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week runs through April 12.

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