Event dignifies victims of crime

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving North Texas and the Denton County District Attorney's Office will work together Tuesday on a public program focusing attention on National Crime Victims Week.

The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the main jury room on the second floor of the Denton County Courts Building, 1450 E. McKinney St.

Christi Roberts, a victims' services specialist for MADD, said the event is aimed at honoring and empowering victims of drunken driving and other crimes.

Roberts said one of the speakers will be Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, who is credited with developing the Amber Alert notification plan for missing and endangered children. Jenna Quinn

University of North Texas student Jenna Quinn, for whom Jenna's Law is named, also will speak. Quinn has been an outspoken activist for education and openness about sexual molestation since she finally told authorities that her father's best friend had been molesting her since she was 13, according to reports. She kept the secret for years because she knew it would destroy two families, but finally came close to suicide and revealed the secret. Her attacker was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

She insisted that her name be used in stories about the crime and made a documentary film that is used in schools. The law that bears her name requires schools to provide more education about sexual molestation.

Roberts said a third guest will be motivational speaker Lisa Walker, who will talk to victims about empowering themselves and others.

"We want to honor victims and make them feel empowered instead of remaining a victim," Roberts said.

Several displays will show the results of other victims' efforts to overcome the tragedy of the crimes against them, she said.

"We want them to inspire each other," she said.

DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is dfielder@dentonrc.com.

OTHER EVENTS

Also Tuesday evening - Local author Theresa Westbrook will display her book A Strand of Pearls at the Denton County Courts Building, 1450 E. McKinney St. Westbrook's book, distributed by AuthorHouse, tells her story of recovering from childhood sexual abuse. She is the founder of Pearls of Shalom Ministries in Lindsay. For more information, visit www.pearlsofshalom.com.

6 p.m. Monday - Take Back the Night, a march and rally to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence, at Texas Woman's University. Event features Janine Turner and the music of Bottle Tree. At the Hubbard Oval, just east of TWU's Hubbard Hall. The event is sponsored by TWU's Project REV (Resources for Ending Violence) office. For more information, call 940-898-2744.


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