The Colquitt County District Attorney's office kicked off this year's National Crime Victims' Rights week with a ceremony Friday morning.
Brian McDaniel, the senior assistant district attorney, says often times we hear about the rights that a suspect or criminal has but we don't hear about the rights a victim has and that's what this week is all about.
30 years ago, crime victims had no rights, access to crime victim compensation, or help to rebuild their lives. But McDaniel says in the state of Georgia, there is now a law that says victims must be notified of court hearings and things of that nature so that they can be there and speak out about their side of the story if they wish.
This issue hits very close to home for Janneka Hamilton, a victim of domestic violence, who was there to speak out about what happened to her.
Hamilton said in 2009, she was riding around town with who she thought was her friend when all of a sudden he got angry and lashed out at her. Hamilton said he stabbed her several times in the stomach, arm, back, throat, and slashed her across the face, when she stopped breathing, the suspect drove away. When she started breathing again, she crawled 600 feet to the nearest home to get help.
Hamilton said at first she didn't consider herself lucky to be alive, but after several months of healing she knows that she survived the attack for a reason. She has now made it a point to speak out and share her story in hopes of saving at least one other person.