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Crime victims unite

It’s National Crime Victims’ Rights week.

To mark the occasion, victims attended a ceremony at the Ventura County Government Center. Many of them had a chance to thank the prosecutors and law- enforcement officers who helped them.

The district attorney’s office has a victim’s assistance unit too.

Director Catherine Duggan said people are not meant to cope with terror and violent crime. Duggan said the county offers services to help crime victims cope with trauma.

Greg Arnett, of Westlake Village, said the unit helped him through the death of his 13-year-old son, Chase, who died in a car crash nine years ago; Arnett said he was riding in a pickup truck with an underage driver who crashed.

The Keynote speaker was Manuel Vega, a retired police officer, who was abused by a local priest decades ago. Vega is now an advocate for victims of all kinds of crime.

Groups such as Parents of Murdered Children, The Coalition for Family Harmony and Interface Children Family Services held court in the lobby.

A march for victims took place after the ceremony.

For information about crime victim assistance log on to

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