Rape Victim Speaks Out at Victim Assistance Coalition Ceremony in Cville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -
We're accustomed to seeing the faces of criminals, but rarely do we see or hear from the victims. It can be scary to come forward, but after more than 40 years of silence, one woman is speaking out.
Kimberly Treadway, once a victim of sexual abuse, spoke at an event at Charlottesville City Hall Tuesday, hosted by the Jefferson Area Victim Assistance Coalition, to honor those in the justice system who have helped victims of crime.
Treadway was sexually abused by her biological father. For decades, she kept it a secret. "I was molested from the time that I was three until I was 20 years old when I left the house,” she said.
Treadway says she felt alone. "It makes you feel small and like you don't matter,” she said.
Finally, in her 40s she decided to get help. "To go through what I've been through, and to be sexually abused and sodomized by my own father, you just come to the point where you feel like you're not worth anything and I got tired of feeling that way,” she said.
Treadway shared her story at the event and received a standing ovation. "To try to encourage other people who have been through the same thing I have - or to encourage law enforcement that is helping victims like myself - makes me feel much more complete,” she said.
Treadway hopes to help other victims of abuse find their voice. "You'll never be sorry if you get help and you can go the whole rest of your life hurting if you don't,” she said.
Wednesday's award ceremony is an annual event in honor of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
Department of Justice Press Release
The Jefferson Area Victim Assistance Coalition commemorated National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 6-12) with an event in Charlottesville today honoring local professionals who have displayed excellence in their work with crime victims.
The theme for National Victims’ Rights Week 2014, “30 Years: Restoring the Balance of Justice,” celebrates the enduring work of those leaders who have dedicated their professional lives to providing services to victims of crime. Through decades of advocacy and hard work, victims of crime have gained access to crime victim’s compensation or services to help rebuild their lives, among other benefits once denied to victims.
Locally, the Jefferson Area Victim Assistance Coalition presented awards to five individuals and one agency that have devoted innumerable hours, months and years to the cause of restoring the balance of justice in the care of crime victims.
Honored today were the following:
Dr. Gregory S. Gelburd, D.O., Downtown Family Health Care. Dr. Gelburd has practiced in Charlottesville since 1989, spending the last eight years in a community-oriented office with a sliding scale. He has been a member of six non-profit boards and is a current member of The Bridge Ministry, a prison ministry based in Charlottesville. He has made 26 medical trips to Honduras, four to Haiti and four medical trips to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.
Nancy S. Healey, Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia. Ms. Healey has been the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator since 1995, working to combine federal, state and local resources to more effectively combat the sexual exploitation of minors. Ms. Healey fights hard for appropriate sentences for those who prey on children. She has spent more than two decades of her life focusing on balancing justice and stands out among peers as she fights back for those who are too young or weak to fight for themselves.
Special Agent J. Phillip Holley, Virginia State Police. As the Virginia State Trooper overseeing the Sex Offender Registry in the area, Trooper Holley has gone well above his call of duty. Trooper Holley communicates routinely with victim/witness programs and probation and parole to ensure safety and peace of mine for victims, going so far as to communicate directly with victims about an offender’s whereabouts.
Jeffrey T. Lenert, Senior Probation Officer- District 9. Mr. Lenert has served as a probation officer for almost 25 years, working for most of that time with sex offenders. His job is to both rehabilitate the offender and protect public safety. He is kind and respectful to offenders in his efforts to help them change their lives. Mr. Lenert is aware that his work is not connected to statistics but to victims who are real human beings.
Jon R. Zug, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Albemarle County. Mr. Zug has served victims of crime in Albemarle County with commitment and dedication for nearly 28 years, showing expertise in properly investigating and prosecuting crimes of violence as well as leadership and vision in his tireless efforts to continuously improve community response to crimes of violence.
Offender Aid and Restoration, Jefferson Area Community Corrections. Is a group founded with the purpose of assisting individuals who are arrested, imprisoned or released from incarceration to gain and retain self-respect and self-sustaining and crime-free lifestyles. Specifically, OAR encourages offenders to become responsible members of their family and the community and to compensate victims and society.
The Jefferson Area Victim Assistance Coalition consists of members from the Albemarle County Victim/Witness Program, the Albemarle/Charlottesville Domestic Violence Services Coordinator, the Charlottesville Victim/Witness Program, the FBI Victim Assistance Program-Richmond Division, the Fluvanna County Victim/Witness Program, the Greene County Victim/Witness Program, Homeland Security Investigations Victim Assistance Program, the Louisa County Victim/Witness Program, the Shelter for Help in Emergency, the United States Attorney’s Office-Victims/Witness Program and the University of Virginia Victim/Witness Program.
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