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S.D. Residents Receive Citizens Of Courage Awards

— Five San Diego County residents will be presented today with Citizens of Courage awards.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will present the awards as part of this year's National Crime Victims' Rights Week, observed April 10, through April 16.

This year's honorees include: an 88-year-old East County woman who fought back against a would-be carjacker, a college student who reported multiple sexual assaults and a woman who persuaded a suspected murderer to confess, solving a cold case.

Also being honored are a 9-year-old South Bay girl who was abducted by a registered sex offender, but escaped after biting and scratching him, and a developmentally disabled woman who was attacked by a knife-wielding man. The woman called 911, identified the suspect and later testified against her attacker in court, according to the district attorney's office.

The ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m., at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter Hotel, 910 Broadway Circle, on the second floor in the California Ballroom.

About 300 people are expected to attend the event, including local elected officials, law enforcement, community leaders and other dignitaries, the district attorney's office said.

Immediately following the ceremony there will be a free therapy session, entitled "Grief and Healing,'' according to the California Crime Victims Assistance Association.

There will also be a butterfly release commemorating National Crime Victims' Rights Week at the W Hotel's rooftop restaurant at 6 p.m., according to various reports.

County Sheriff Bill Gore and Dumanis are expected to release 100 butterflies in honor of San Diego crime victims. The butterflies were donated by Wings of Hope, a volunteer organization that donates butterflies for ceremonial release to bring communities together after a tragedy.

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