By David Madden

BLACKWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Camden County, NJ is marking Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a conference today in Blackwood that was attended by more than 100 people — mostly victims, their advocates, and members of the law enforcement community.

The message from this session was that those victimized by crime have both rights and responsibilities.

crime vic madden side Camden County Confab Highlights Rights, Responsibilities of Crime Victims

(Credit: David Madden)

Psychiatrist Esther Deblinger deals with those abused by pedophiles.

“The thing that harms children the most is probably the shame that keeps children silent and that keeps children suffering for many, many years,” she said today.  “So we have to help them overcome that shame.”

And that, more often than not, needs to be a family responsibility.

Another concern: the reluctance of many people to get involved from the start.  Many victims don’t want to bother, or don’t trust the system to treat them fairly.

But if they don’t speak up, and crimes go unreported, the speakers stressed, things don’t get any better.  And that message was slowly but surely getting through.

The event was sponsored by the Victim/Witness Unit of the Camden County prosecutor’s office.


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