Knoxville mothers honored with Champion of Victims’ Rights Award

in People

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two local mothers are being honored for their work with victims’ rights from the Marsy’s Law for Tennessee group.

The group presented Joan Berry and Tina Gregg of Knoxville with the Champion of Victims’ Rights Award. According to a statement from Marsy’s Law of Tennessee, the honor was presented “for their decades of hard work and dedication to protecting the rights of crime victims and their families in Tennessee.”

Marianne Dunavant, victim outreach coordinator for the agency, told WATE 6 On Your Side Wednesday evening the two mothers have been champions of victims’ rights across the state and said she appreciated their tireless work for the community.

Joan Berry is a long time victims’ rights advocate and mother of Johnia Berry, who was murdered in West Knoxville in 2004. She founded the group “HOPE for Victims” to give a voice to family members who have lost loved ones to crime. In 2007, Berry helped to implement the “Johnia Berry Act” that requires a DNA sample be submitted when a person is arrested for a violent felony in Tennessee.

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