Justice Department Honors Delaware Victim Advocate
The Department of Justice today recognized Debra McCall Reed with the National Crime Victim Service Award during the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“Our criminal justice system should be responsive to the needs of every victim of crime,” said Attorney General Sessions. “This week, we celebrate and thank those who ensure that it is, including victim advocates like Debra Reed. For more than 30 years, she has helped victims in the aftermath of traumatic experiences like sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Victims throughout Delaware have benefited from her energy and expertise, and I want to thank her for tireless service on their behalf.”
Reed began working with victims of crime 30 years ago as a child abuse investigator for Delaware’s Division of Family Services. In 1990, she was selected by the Delaware State Police to develop the Delaware Victim Center. Five years later, she was promoted to Director, a position that she still holds.
Reed has been instrumental in developing the Delaware Victim Center’s services related to sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and sudden death. As victims’ needs have changed through the years, she has responded with new and unique programs, including an emergency financial assistance program to assist crime victims with immediate needs such as housing, medical costs, and counseling.
"Ms. Reed’s dedication to the Delaware State Police’s Delaware Victim Center is making Delaware a better place for those who tragically become victims of crime,” said Director of the Office for Victims of Crime Darlene Hutchinson. “The Department of Justice is proud to honor her for her remarkable contributions and for her commitment to justice for all individuals victimized by crime.”
During today’s ceremony, the Justice Department recognized a dozen individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts on behalf of victims of crime. Awardees were selected from public nominations in ten categories.
Each year in April, the Department of Justice observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf. In addition, the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Offices organize events to honor the victims and advocates, as well as bring awareness to services available to victims of crime. This year’s observance takes place April 8-14, with the theme Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.
The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, within the Office of Justice Programs, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week each year. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 to bring greater sensitivity to the needs and rights of victims of crime.
The Office of Justice Programs provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies. Because most of the responsibility for crime control and prevention falls to law enforcement officers in states, cities, and neighborhoods, the federal government can be effective in these areas only to the extent that it can enter into partnerships with these officers. More information about the Office of Justice Programs and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov. More information about Crime Victim’s Rights Week can be found at https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/.