NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A large group of crime victims gathered at Nashville's Centennial Park to kick off National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
The week is intended to help people who have been victimized by almost any crime find help through local victim services and peers who have been through similar situations. At the event, pictures of victims of crimes were held by family members or propped up on benches.
Derrick McKissack is one such victim.
"Mine started as a child," McKissack said. "I was 11 going on 12, and I was sexually assaulted by an older gentlemen in the neighborhood. He did things, unfortunately, to a child. Manipulated my mind. He did a whole lot of things. Years went by, I was still in that abuse mindset for years until I finally got to the age I was like 30 when I got counseling for abuse."
McKissack now works at a sexual assault center and shares his experience to help others.
"It never goes away," he said. "But the more you talk about it and you help others then it helps you, as well."
Davidson County leaders also addressed the crowd.
"We owe it to you and everyone else in our city to make sure people feel safe and that they are safe in this city," said Mayor David Briley.
Earlier in the week, NewsChannel 5 heard from pastor Joey Spann about victims rights on OpenLine.