Wednesday, April 22, 2020

This is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

4-22-2020 - This week, April 19-25, is designated National Crime Victims’ Rights Week - set aside to promote victims’ rights, and to raise awareness of the protections and services available to crime victims. During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the US Deprtment of Justice, along with victim advocacy organizations, community groups and state, local and tribal agencies, traditionally host rallies, candlelight vigils, and other events to raise awareness of victims’ rights and services.  This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many communities and groups are organizing virtual gatherings and online public awareness campaigns.

“Every year, millions of Americans suffer the shock and trauma of criminal victimization, affecting their well-being and sense of security and dignity,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “To these victims, we affirm our unwavering commitment to supporting them in their hour of need.  We also commend the thousands of victim advocates and public safety professionals who labor tirelessly to secure victims’ rights and support survivors.”

“While we have made tremendous progress driving down crime and violence across the country, far too many Americans continue to suffer the pain and loss of criminal victimization,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs.  “This week, we stand by these survivors and their families, and we pledge our ongoing support to the countless men and women who serve them with such extraordinary skill and compassion.”

Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, putting crime victims' rights, needs, and concerns in a prominent spot on the American agenda.  He also established the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, which laid the groundwork for a national network of services and legal safeguards for crime victims. 

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