To mark National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, North Dakota US Attorney Christopher Myers handed out a number of Victim assistance awards at a ceremony in Bismarck.
The theme of the ceremony was “Expand the Circle – Reach All Victims.”
"Far too often, the stuff that happens behind the scenes -- working with victims, helping them -- rarely gets recognized," Myers said. "It's probably one of the most important things we do on a daily basis."
One of the awards went to a Fargo woman who is the Founder of Hope and Healing at the Plains Art Museum. Nikki Anderson is a trained therapeutic arts facilitator. She focused on the opioid epidemic. Anderson and her husband lost a son to an overdose of fentanyl-laced heroin. Anderson received the “Special Courage Victim Assistance Award.”
"Despite all the darkness we've had, and all of you see on a daily basis, we still believe in beauty," Anderson said. "We still believe in goodness. And we are grateful for all the goodness we see every day. That includes all of you here."
Here is the list of the award winners:
Assistant United States Attorney Victim Assistance Award – Jonathan O’Konek, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bismarck. Support Staff Victim Assistance Award – Vicki Thompson, Legal Assistant,
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Fargo.
Victim-Witness Advocate Assistance Award – Amy Jacobson, Human Trafficking Navigator, Youthworks, Bismarck.
Special Agent Victim Assistance Award – Frank Gasper, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bismarck.
State Law Enforcement Victim Assistance Award – Lt. Calise Linstrom, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, Towner & Det. Dale Ackland, Jamestown Police Department, Jamestown.
Crime Victim Service Legacy Assistance Award – Paula Bosh, Victim Specialist, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Minot.
Special Courage Victim Assistance Award – Nikki Anderson, Thriver, Trained
Therapeutic Arts Facilitator, Founder of Art of Hope and Healing, Plains Art Museum,