New Summit County Program Aims To Help Immigrants Who Are Victims Of Crime

Mar 24, 2017

The new 'We Can Help' program will include information in English, Spanish, Arabic and Nepali.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

The Summit County prosecutor’s office is launching a campaign to help immigrants and refugees who are victims of crime.

The new “We Can Help” campaign will feature brochures, signs and information in English, Spanish, Arabic and Nepali.

The languages were chosen with help from the International Institute of Akron. The city has seen rapid growth in the Nepali population and other refugees in North Hill.

Margaret Scott, chief assistant prosecutor, says the goal is to connect people with the prosecutor’s office, Rape Crisis Center, Battered Women’s Shelter and other agencies, as well as to further explain U.S. law.

“We understand that it can be overwhelming to be from another culture. And you may not be sure what the laws are, or that there’s help available. So this is a campaign to put ads on billboards and buses to let people know where they can go for help.”

Scott says one reason for the new program is that many immigrants may not even realize they’re being victimized.

“What might be perfectly acceptable behavior in another country and in another culture is breaking the law here. So there’s a little bit of apprehension.”

Much of the funding for Summit County’s “We Can Help” campaign will come from a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s office. The program will launch next month in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.