The following post appears courtesy of Joye E. Frost, Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crime
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) is being observed nationwide April 10-16, 2011. Every year during this week, cities, towns, organizations, and community members come together to honor crime victims and those who serve them. A local celebration with national support, NCVRW is firmly rooted in our nation’s communities. NCVRW is a time for every citizen to focus on raising awareness and promoting victims’ rights.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) helps lead NCVRW efforts throughout the country and hosted prelude events in Washington, D.C., last week, including the Annual National Candlelight Observance and the Attorney General’s National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony. The events kicked off NCVRW and placed a national spotlight on what is ultimately a local observance.
To help communities plan and execute their own celebrations, OVC provides a variety of resource materials. The NCVRW Resource Guide features educational content, campaign materials, artwork, and a theme video. These tools make it easy for communities to plan local events and work with local media outlets to promote awareness. To provide national consistency, OVC selects a theme highlighting particular crime victims’ issues every year.
The NCVRW theme for 2011 – “Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past” – acknowledges the contributions of victim service providers to meeting tomorrow’s public safety challenges and pays tribute to our nation’s crime victims. The theme also highlights the capacity of victim service providers to help mold the future of the crime victims’ services field. The amazing individuals who received awards during last week’s ceremony are just a few of the thousands of professionals throughout the country who are helping to make sure that victims are protected, acknowledged, and involved in every phase of the justice system – that justice for all always includes justice for victims.
As Attorney General Eric Holder said during the Candlelight Observance:
“As we join together to commemorate this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, it is clear that we are also bound by our common goals, by our shared concerns, and by our collective resolve to do more to protect those at risk and in need – and to support every person, every family, and every community now struggling to overcome the devastating effects of crime.”
During NCVRW and throughout the year, OVC acknowledges that our most vital partners are the providers in the field, the local policymakers who stand up for victims, the survivors who refuse to be silenced, and the victims whose memories will never fade.
For additional information about NCVRW, please visit http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/index.html.