Justice Department Observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with Events Throughout the Country
Champions for Crime Victims Honored in North Alabama
HUNTSVILLE – In observance of this week as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, federal and state prosecutors in north Alabama today joined with service providers, survivors and community members to honor a victim advocate, a state prosecutor and five federal agents who have shown special commitment to helping crime victims.
Veleda Davis, a victim advocate at the non-profit AshaKiran volunteer center in Madison County, Lauderdale County Assistant District Attorney Angie Hamilton, and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Birmingham office received awards during the 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Recognition Ceremony this morning at Huntsville’s Jackson Center. Alexis Barton, the event’s featured speaker, received the Distinguish Survivor Award. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama, the Madison County District Attorney’s Office and Crisis Services of North Alabama presented the recognition ceremony.
"In law enforcement, we are sworn to serve and protect," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "We carry out this oath every day by protecting the rights of law abiding people from criminals and by achieving justice for crime victims. This week, we remember the millions of Americans who have been victimized by criminals and we thank those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their service to those victims. As we do so, we recommit ourselves to fulfilling our oath and to reducing crime in America."
“National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a celebration of courage. It is a celebration of survivors. It is a celebration of those service officers who spend countless hours supporting victims and helping them become survivors,” said U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town. “It is the acknowledgment by our justice system that we confront offenders together, shoulder to shoulder, and serves to embolden and empower all crime victims.”
In Birmingham on Sunday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office joined 22 local agencies to kick off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with One Heart in the Park, to stand in solidarity with the community’s victims of crime in Linn Park. A goal of the event was to connect crime victims and members of the community with agencies and advocates that provide assistance and services to victims and to highlight how professionals, organizations, and communities can work in tandem to reach all victims.
Each year in April, the Department of Justice and United States Attorney’s 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. Attorney’s Offices organize events to honor the victims and advocates, as well as bring awareness to services available to victims of crime. The theme for this year’s observance is Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.
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 Friday 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 www.ojp.gov. More information about Crime Victim’s Rights Week can be found at https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/. You may also contact the Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Program at (205) 244-2093.