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Press Release

2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

Every April, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) is held to promote victims’ rights and to honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s NCVRW will be held April 10-16 and the theme, “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope” presents the opportunity to highlight the diversity of our communities, expand partnerships to serve victims of crime, enhance efforts to meet victims where they are, and empower crime victims as they pursue justice and recovery.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that it has partnered with the   6th Judicial Department of Correctional Services, Horizons - A Family Service Alliance, UnityPoint Health Child Protection Center, Waypoint, Riverview Center, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Deaf Iowans Against Abuse, Cedar Valley Friends of the Family, Marion Police Department, the Linn County Attorney’s Office and concerned citizens to host events in the Cedar Rapids area throughout the week. These events encourage community members to be engaged, to empower victims, and to provide an opportunity to honor those impacted by crime.

“Every year, millions of people are impacted by crime. This week is a time to celebrate progress, raise awareness of victims’ rights and services, and stand with those whose lives have been altered by crime,” said U.S. Attorney Kevin W. Techau. “My office is committed to ensuring victims are treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and are afforded their statutory rights.”

The Opening Ceremony will be held on Sunday, April 10 at 1:00 p.m. at the Marion Police Department.  Denise Stapley, winner of the reality show Survivor: Philippines and a Licensed Mental Health Therapist in Cedar Rapids will be the keynote speaker. The community is invited to join city leaders, members of law enforcement, advocates of victims' rights, crime victims, survivors, and their families as they remember those who have been victimized, honor those working in the field, and focus on the need for justice and support for those impacted by crime. Sign language interpreters will be present during the ceremony.

At the Opening Ceremony the United States Attorneys’ Offices for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa will present the annual Victim Service Awards. Kyle Paxton, a Medicaid Fraud Unit Investigator with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, will receive the 2016 Law Enforcement Victim Service Award for his work involving a case of abuse in an elder group home. The 2016 Award of Excellence in Victim Service will be presented to Holly Elliott, a Victim-Witness Coordinator with the Dubuque County Attorney’s Office, for her work with crime victims and in developing training and standards for victim service providers.

Also, at the event on Sunday, the Linn County Attorney’s Office will present the Jennifer Clinton Domestic Violence Service Award. This year’s recipient is Officer Nicole Hotz with the Marion Police Department. Officer Hotz went above and beyond the call of duty to assist a victim of domestic abuse providing support, concern and compassion in a professional manner.

On Tuesday, April 12, the 6th Judicial Department of Correctional Services will hold a Victim Empathy Circle at the William G. Faches Center. This is a closed event in which clients on correctional supervision focus on honoring victims and developing empathy for the harm their actions have caused to their victims and the community through participation in a healing circle.

On Friday, April 15, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. there will be a Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Homicide held at Horizons – A Family Service Alliance located at 819 - 5th Street SE Cedar Rapid, IA. Dr. Jim Coyle will be the keynote speaker discussing Companioning Grief. Dr. Coyle has been a first responder for 33 years. His life mission has focused on assisting individuals through traumatic events.

On Saturday, April 16, at 9:00 a.m. the 10th Annual Go the Distance for Crime Victims 5K Run/Walk will take place at Thomas Park in Marion. To register go to Funds raised from this event are used to reimburse victims for financial losses as a result of a crime.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week honors and celebrates the achievements of the past 30 years in securing rights, protections, and services for victims. The bipartisan Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), passed by Congress in 1984, created a national fund to ease victims’ suffering. Financed by fines and penalties paid by offenders, the Crime Victims Fund supports services for victims of all types of crime, including assistance for homicide survivors, survivors of child sexual abuse, and victims of human trafficking as well as rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs among others. VOCA also funds victim compensation programs that pay victims’ out-of-pocket expenses such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

For additional information about the 2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and how to assist victims in your community, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Iowa or visit For additional ideas on how to support victims of crime, visit the Office for Victims of Crime website,

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated April 8, 2016

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