For Sexual & Crime Assault Awareness Month, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office help victims find justice

Rapid City Sheriffs Office provide resources, campaigns and outreach to show support for victims
KOTA Territory News at Noon
Updated: Apr. 25, 2023 at 7:30 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - This month is very significant to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and this last week, in particular, is also National Crime Victims’ Right Week, April 23 to 29. If you have been a victim of a crime, it can be a challenge navigating the legal and court process. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office works hard to help victims of crime with two victim specialists working full-time to make services available and to help when needed.

Becky Elger, Victim Specialist with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office tells us why we need to bring awareness to victims of crime. Elger says, “Millions of Americans are affected by crime. Many will need ongoing care, support, and resources. We help people navigate the process, sometimes that means helping people with court dates, sometimes there are financial resources and restitution.” Pennington County’s Victim Specialists work primarily with victims of crimes that are being investigated by the PCSO/RCPD criminal investigations division. On record, they have assisted 422 victims in 2022, who were primarily victims of violent crimes. The Victim Specialists also spend time building relationships with community organizations and victim assistance programs, to help ensure victims get better wrap-around services.

To raise awareness this month, Elger says, “We have several events planned including a group photo on Wednesday while wearing jeans for Denim Day and colors (dark blue for child abuse; purple for domestic violence, teal for sexual assault). The pictures are on April 26 at 9 a.m. on the front steps of the public safety building. Law enforcement, fire, and medical first responders, court and state’s attorney professionals, and advocacy groups will meet for a group photo to show support for victims and survivors.”

For more information about the pictures or details above, call Pennington County Sheriff’s Office Victims Unit and Investigations services, at (605) 394-6113 and ask for a victim specialist.

To watch the full interview click on the video above.