LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho has a vision of Ka Hale Maka‘i O Kaua‘i, the home of the Office of Prosecuting Attorney, the Kaua‘i Police Department and the Kaua‘i Civil Defense, becoming a center of healing.
With the help of the Waipa Foundation, a kalo, or taro, garden and area with native Hawaiian medicinal plants was established Monday to mark National Crime Victims Rights Week, under way through Saturday.
“Kaua‘i joins the rest of the nation in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week,” Iseri-Carvalho said.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said in a county proclamation marking the observance that 18.7 million Americans are directly harmed by crime each year — with each crime affecting not only the victim, but many more family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
With a theme of “Extending the Vision, Reaching Every Victim,” the Kaua‘i County Council last week issued a certificate to the prosecuting attorney’s office.
“Crime and violence in America affects us all, and victims’ rights are a critical component of ‘justice for all,’” the certificate states.
“Everyone participates in the protection of victims,” Iseri-Carvalho said.
“But crime victims’ rights is not just one week, but 365 days in the year. Everyone must participate because the numbers only show those cases which are reported. We need to worry about those who are too afraid to call.”
Iseri-Carvalho said the kalo planting was to symbolize rebirth and hope.
“The plant itself symbolizes new life and continual growth,” said Kaua‘i Police Capt. Kaleo Perez.
“The fresh shoots, called ‘oha,’ emerge from the mature kalo plant, and the name of these shoots gives us the word ‘ohana, or family,” Perez explained.