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Press Release

Ohio Valley students design and execute mock trial to highlight teen dating violence prevention and education

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

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – In recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, observed between April 10 and April 16, 2016, local community and student leaders hosted an educational mock trial event designed to highlight the realities of teen dating violence, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

The interactive mock trial, which took place in the United States Federal Courthouse in Wheeling before an audience of local high school students, was developed by the YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Program in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. Students from John Marshall and Wheeling Park High Schools led the effort to design the underlying premise and content of the mock trial. U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided over the trial and students portrayed several crucial roles, including the victim, the defendant, a witness, and members of the jury.

YWCA Wheeling Family Violence Prevention Program Director Patricia Flanigan described the mock trial as a “unique opportunity to educate our younger generation on the reality of the consequences of committing a crime of dating violence or domestic violence. We were very excited to use National Crime Victims’ Rights Week as a platform to demonstrate to local youth the criteria of a federal dating violence crime.” Flanigan commended the students involved in the mock trial, noting that they “took an active role in planning and developing this insightful educational event.”

Each year, the Office for Victims of Crime leads the observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, designed to recognize victims of crime and highlight the work of victim advocates and service providers. This year, the theme for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. This theme is designed to emphasize the importance of early intervention and victim services. Individuals interested in learning more about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week are encouraged to visit the Office for Victims of Crime website at

Updated April 15, 2016

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