Washington, D.C. – The National Network to End Domestic Violence today marked National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to honor victims and victim advocates. This year’s theme—Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past—recognizes victims’ past struggles and our nation’s duty to help them rebuild stronger, safer lives.
“For victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating abuse and stalking, it is critically important that they know their rights under the law and the resources available to them,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president. “National Crime Victims’ Rights Week reminds us of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. This week and throughout the year, let us pay tribute to all victims of crime and the advocates so dedicated to serving them.”
For victim advocates, reshaping the future—particularly in these financially difficult times—means finding ways to do more with less. It means locating resources for victims—such as the millions harmed by financial fraud and abuse—to restore their credit and financial security.
Honoring the past means recalling a time when victims had no voice in the criminal justice system and there were even fewer resources for survivors of violence against women and girls. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week honors the victims and advocates who confronted such injustices and helped to produce a nationwide system of victims’ rights and services. It also reminds us that failures to enforce laws or to fund programs for victims jeopardizes the success of recent improvements.
“Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past captures the spirit and mission of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week,” said Joye E. Frost, acting director of the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. “The past that we honor points to a future when all victims are respected, the laws to protect them are enforced, and the resources they need are in place and accessible to them. Justice demands no less.”
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week began in Washington, D.C. at the Department of Justice’s annual national Candlelight Observance Ceremony on April 7, 2011, and the Office for Victims of Crime’s Service Awards ceremony, April 8, 2011, to honor outstanding individuals and programs that serve victims of crime. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is observed across the country April 10–April 16.
For ideas on how to volunteer and to access resources for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit www.ovc.gov.
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NNEDV, a 501(c)(3) organization, is a leading voice for domestic violence victims and their allies. Its members include the 56 state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence. It works closely with them to understand the needs of domestic violence victims and advocacy programs. NNEDV has been a premiere national organization advancing the movement against domestic violence for the past 15 years, after leading efforts among domestic violence advocates and survivors in urging Congress to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994. To learn more about NNEDV, please visit www.nnedv.org.