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Press Release

Justice Department Observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week With Events Throughout The Country

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania joins with the Justice Department to raise public awareness of victims’ rights in observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 7-13, 2019.

Every year, millions of Americans are affected by crime. According to the most recent Bureau of Justice Statistic’s National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced 3.1 million violent victimizations and U.S. households experienced an estimated 13.3 million property crimes in 2017.

“Victims of crime deserve justice. This Department works every day to help them recover and to find, prosecute, and convict those who have done them harm,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “During this National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we pause to remember the millions of Americans who have been victims of crime and we thank public servants who have served them in especially heroic ways. This week the men and women of the Department recommit ourselves once again to ensuring that crime victims continue to have a voice in our legal system, to securing justice for them, and to preventing other Americans from suffering what they have endured."

“There is no greater honor for a prosecutor than to stand up and speak on behalf of victims of crime, or for those who can no longer speak for themselves,” said U.S. Attorney David J. Freed.  “Far too often, the focus in our criminal justice system is on the accused and voices of victims go unheard.  It is our duty to make sure that never happens.  In the past few days, I have again had the opportunity to spend time with family members of opioid overdose victims, a group that remains far too large in the Middle District.  Their grace in the face of tragedy and their commitment to helping save others from a similar fate continues to provide motivation for our team.  We are proud to stand with and for victims of crime.”

Each year in April, the Department of Justice and United States Attorneys’ offices observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week nationwide by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf. In addition, the Justice Department and U.S. Attorneys’ 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 7-13, with the theme: Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.

The U.S. Department of Justice will host the Office for Victims of Crime’s annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2019, to honor outstanding individuals and programs that serve victims of crime.

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 More information about Crime Victim’s Rights Week can be found at You may also contact the U.S. Attorney’s Middle District of Pennsylvania’s Victim Witness Program at (717) 221-4482.


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Updated April 10, 2019