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Crime victim awareness groups rally outside the Student Center

Representatives from the Division of Student Affairs passed out valuable resource information about victim awareness in the Unity Plaza today in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Awareness Day.

With the help of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Crime Victims Advocacy Council, faculty members and students discussed the support available to victims of a crime or traumatic event at the resource fair. The fair was a part of this week’s recognition of National Crime Victims’ Week.

Amongst a variety of papers and flyers handed out, the students were told to dress in blue jeans and were given a blue ribbon in observation of Denim Day. Students were also encouraged to raise awareness around sexual violence issues and support survivors of sexual assault.

In light of the recent Boston bombings, Nicole Morrison of Student Affairs said she wants students to know what to do after a crime and how they can seek help and justice through the school and outside resources like MADD.

“Students may not know we offer these free services,” Morrison said. “We want to provide quality assistance to students.”

Student center support services include direct crisis intervention, making appropriate referrals through the Counseling and Testing Center, the Student Health Clinic and the Georgia State University Police Department.

Cynthia Hagan of MADD Victim Services referred to outside resources such as which courts students can go to and what rights they have as victims.

“We want to put meaning into something so preventable,” Hagan said. “We want everyone to be responsible.”

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According to Hagan, in most cases of driving under the influence (DUI), the accused usually accept a plea bargain, sometimes equivalent to a slap on the wrist.

“If a drunk driver is killed, the family might never go to court,” Hagan said. “It’s senseless.”

From its beginnings nearly 32 years ago, MADD has become one of the most widely supported non-profit organizations in America, teaching students about the dangerous consequences of drinking and driving and underage drinking and driving.

Hagan said she would donate money to those fraternities and sororities who pledge not to drink and drive.