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Sunday starts Crime Victims' Rights Week

Posted at 1:01 AM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 01:04:49-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Doris Strong and Aleta Jarrett are two women whose lives have been impacted due to violence. Strong lost her father in 2013, and Jarrett lost her father and brother in 2003. Now working to raise awareness while making sure their loved ones are not forgotten.

They're sharing their stories as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which kicked off Sunday.

Pat Tuthill whose daughter was killed 22 years ago used her foundation to keep off the week. The group organized a one mile walk around Cascades park. A walk to help raise awareness about the resources available to victims of violent crimes and their families.

"What I tell people, anyone can fall victim to a time," said Tuthill.

On top of having counseling resources available to them, Strong said her family was able to receive financial support.

"For my dad, we had to use victim compensation for his funeral, because we didn't have the resources to bury him," said Strong.

According to the Florida Attorney General's those who qualify for Victim Compensation funds include:

  • A person who suffers personal physical injury or death as a direct result of a crime.
  • A person younger than 18 years of age who was the victim of a felony or misdemeanor offense of child abuse that resulted in a mental injury.
  • A person younger than 18 years of age who was present at the scene of a crime, saw or heard the crime, and suffered a psychiatric or psychological injury because of the crime but who was not physically injured.

So far the Peyton Tuthill Foundation's Scholarship fund, Hearts of Hope, has helped around 40 college students pay for college, giving out over $105,000 to families or victims of violence.

"Children, who have lost either parents or siblings to homicide, can receive scholarships for up to four years from the foundation to go to college, vocational school, and they have to have one year of grief counseling."

Tuthill hopes her work bringing awareness to victims' rights and her scholarship fund makes getting through tough times, a little bit easier.

"After the headlines fade, people forget about them. And having an acknowledgment, if they lost someone, they're not forgotten," said Tuthill.