Honoring National Crime Victims' Rights Week - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Honoring National Crime Victims' Rights Week

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

More than 100 people died of violent crimes in Iowa this past year, and this week is dedicated to honoring their memory.

Several people in the criminal justice system are dedicated to learning more about victims of violent crime.

Most of them got involved, because of their own personal tragedy.

115 tea lights were lit to honor the people who died from violent crimes in Iowa this year.

Two of them were blue for the police officers killed in Des Moines.

Department of Corrections victim programs director, Mary Roche, said National Crime Victims' Rights Week is more emotional for people in law enforcement, like herself, than most people would think.

"There are a lot of people who have survived some kind of trauma involved in this work. So, it's just really important for people to know where their boundaries are, and to have done your own healing too," Roche said.

Roche said she lost her husband, Joseph Lind, 24 years ago, when a drunk driver crashed into him in Waterloo.

"At that time I was 27, and our son was just shy of turning 2 years old. That was my introduction to the criminal justice system," Roche said.

Roche is still healing from the loss, but she's dedicated to working to help victims.

She admits some days can be overwhelming.

"Yes and no. There are challenges with doing this work and being a survivor myself. Because, you always have to stay aware that this isn't about me. When I'm working with somebody else, it's about them," Roche said.

On Thursday, as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, a victim will speak at the Department of Corrections in Des Moines.

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