April is National Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month, and events around the area are being held all month long to shine a spotlight on an important issue.

The sixth annual Victims' Rights Conference was held April 12, 2019 at the Sheraton and focused on crime victim's rights and how professionals can better understand  victim's experiences.

The Crime Victim Center of Erie County, a non-profit that helps create hope for the future of people affected by assault, organizes the conference each year. 

Vanessa McNeal, a nationally-known speaker and filmmaker, served as the keynote speaker during lunch talking about her recent film "Fear and Failure."

Breakout sessions Friday morning were focused on women, their children and substance use care. Afternoon sessions focused on mandated reporting and taking care of providers.

The conference is part of a series of events held this month by the Crime Victims Center. The full list of events is listed on the organization's website.