Today, as part of the National Crime Victims' Rights Week, victims and family members got the chance to speak out against those who stole a piece of their lives.
A ceremony was held at Tift College focusing on personal accounts from those who have been affected by violent crimes. Dawn Sibly was sexually abused as a child. Today she shared her story as a way to help rebuild her future.
"I was raped four times as a child between the ages of nine and eleven by my sister's husband... I've been speaking these words for years but to say it in front of all of these people was just a very emotional moment to have to relive certain things that you want to forget and put behind you."
Family members at today's event were brought together and reminded that they're not suffering alone. Kellie Wiggins of the Crime Victims Advocacy Council shared the story of her sister's murder, drawing tears from the audience.
"There are things that are forced upon us as tragedies and they fall just short of consuming our lives."
12 members of the Georgia Corrections and Parole Board were present giving victims· and family members the opportunity to speak out against offenders who may be released before their sentence is over. General James E. Donald, Chairman of the State Board of Pardons and Parole, says that these personal accounts have an impact on the board's decision to release offenders early.
For more information on how you can speak out on behalf of yourself or a family member, visit the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles website.