Honor crime victims during victims' rights week - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Honor crime victims during victims' rights week


Prosecutors say the people who are hurt the most by a crime, are often the most overlooked.

That's why next week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

One south Georgia county kicked off the week Friday with a special ceremony honoring a courageous woman and the dog who saved her life.

This is Janneka Hamilton.

In 2009, Hamilton became a victim when a man she thought was her friend stabbed her several times.

"I just felt like it was my purpose to let people know that you can't really trust somebody that you thought was your friend. And if you're going through something, never give up."

Hamilton shared her story Friday at the Colquitt County Courthouse Annex.

On that day in 2009, Hamilton crawled several hundred yards to the home of Sammy Hiers and now 10-year old Lucky.

"To witness the traumatic event that took place in this woman's life and to know she crawled approximately 300 yards total to get to my home and it just encouraged me with an renewed vigor to realize how important human life is," said Hiers.

It was around 4 a.m. when the Chihuahua Lucky heard Hamilton's faint knocks at the door and alerted his owners that she needed help.

"We would not have heard her. We would have found a dead woman on our front door and he woke us up. He came to the bedroom and made a lot of noise and got us to come to the door. We eventually found her laying face down. So I think other than Janneka's strength and power, Lucky is the hero here," said Hiers.

And Hamilton says she had no idea Hiers was going to be at the ceremony Friday.

"It was very very exciting to see them because I see them as my other parents. They don't have any kids and I just thank them for being in my life and my kids' life as well. And for helping me because they could have closed the door back."

And she has a message for fellow victims.

"They'll feel better if they talk it out with somebody and come out with it. Don't ever give up. I felt like giving up because of all of the scars I have on my body, but that's not a reason. I'm just thankful to be here."

Hiers says this experience has taught him that you always need to keep life in mind and if you have a dog that barks, sometimes he will bark for the right reason.

The theme for this year's Victims' Rights Week, which officially begins on Sunday, is New Challenges, New Solutions.


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