HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - A day doesn't go by that a crime victim's family doesn't think about the tragedy that happened to their loved one. This week we recognize those survivors with National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The mother of a local victim wants to thank the organization that helped her get through the tough times.
“I had no idea what to do to help my daughter, I was clueless,” the mother said. She doesn’t want her identity revealed because of the nature of the crime.
This Blair County woman didn't need help giving her daughter advice on make - up or hair styles. She didn't know how to help her after she was raped when she was only five years old. Then she found the guidance she needed.
“If you've never been through it you have no idea the kind of things that you're going to encounter, and if we don't have the Victim Witness Advocates you're kind of like going solo,” the mother said.
Sue Griep is the coordinator for the Blair County Victim Witness Department. She and her staff work with crime victims themselves and the families they sometimes leave behind. This local woman said Sue knew what to say to her young daughter when no one else could find the words.
“There was always an encouragement. This is what's to be expected, this is what they do, don't worry, and I could tell her that and she could care less but when they said it, it held some credence,” the woman said.
It's unpredictable how you'll heal in these situations, but this local crime victim’s mom said support was always available.
“At any time we had access to Sue so it was to help our fears or to just explain what something meant because we didn't know,” the woman said.
The man accused of raping her daughter was convicted and is in prison. Although the case is over, she and the victim witness workers are still close. When we asked her what it would have been like to go through this without the group, she can't even imagine it.
“My husband and I, we, I would of, oh my, we would have wanted to give up, I mean because really you become the victim,” the woman said.
“I thank God that we had them to get us through it. What a gift, what a gift we have in Blair County,” the woman said.
These victim witness groups are available through the district attorney's office in every county.