National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Every April, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) is held to promote victims’ rights and honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s NCVRW will be held April 19-25 and the theme, “Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.” 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.
U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau announced today that his office has partnered with the 6th Judicial Department of Correctional Services, Horizons-A Family Service Alliance, St. Luke’s Child Protection Center, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Deaf Iowans Against Abuse and Linn County Attorney’s Office to host events in the Cedar Rapids area throughout this week. These events encourage community members to be engaged, to empower victims, and to provide an opportunity to honor those impacted by crime.
“Ensuring victims are afforded their statutory rights is a top priority for my office and the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Techau. “By engaging the entire community, we are able to better serve all victims of crime and provide the necessary support through their journey to healing. This year’s theme emphasizes that we all have a role to play.”
On Sunday, April 19, 2015 the Opening Ceremony to kick off the week will be held at the 6th Judicial Department of Correctional Services, 951 29th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids starting at 1 p.m. The Jennifer Clinton Award, which recognizes someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, will be presented to a deserving Cedar Rapids Police officer. The Clothes Line Project from Deaf Iowans Against Abuse will be on display. This project is a way for those affected by violence to highlight the problem of violence against women by designing a t-shirt depicting the impact of the crime on the victim. The public is invited to attend.
Deaf Iowans Against Abuse will be hosting an informal gathering with the Cedar Rapids Police Department and U.S. Attorney's Office with the deaf and hard of hearing communities. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, at the office of Deaf Iowans Against Abuse, 1652 42nd St. NE, Suite D, Cedar Rapids. During this event, the Clothesline Project will also be on display. The public is welcome.
The week’s events will end with a Candlelight Vigil on Friday, April 24 at 7 p.m. The vigil will be held at Horizons-A Family Service Alliance, 819 5th St SE. The public is invited to attend.
NCVRW honors and celebrates the achievements of the past thirty 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 victim assistance and services, such as rape crisis and domestic violence programs and victim compensation programs that pay victims’ out-of-pocket expenses such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages. VOCA has also pioneered support efforts for victims of once-hidden crimes such as domestic and sexual violence. Outreach is increasingly focused on previously underserved victim populations, including victims of color, religious and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ victims, and immigrant populations to name a few. Efforts are being made to ensure that all victims, regardless of their background or the crime committed against them, receive the support they deserve.
For additional information about the 2015 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 at 319-363-6333 or visit www.justice.gov/usao-ndia. For additional ideas on how to support victims of crime, visit the Office for Victims of Crime website, www.ovc.gov.
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