U.S. Attorney's Office Joins in Recognizing National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 19-25, 2020
PORTLAND—Every April, the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) to honor crime victims, promote their rights and recognize those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s observance takes place April 19-25, with the theme: Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office joins its federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners in taking this opportunity to highlight the importance of providing necessary services at the earliest possible stage of victimization and litigation. Early intervention helps prevent further victimization and encourages victim involvement in the criminal justice system, mitigating the cycle of violence and restoring hope for the future.
“Protecting the rights and dignity of crime victims is central to our mission of ensuring the fair administration of justice. Crime victims are so much more than statistics—they are real people whose lives have been unfairly and, at times, tragically impacted by crime. The courage they demonstrate every day in courtrooms across the country is inspiring to many in law enforcement including myself,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “I also want to recognize the bravery and perseverance of victim advocates from all levels of government and in non-profit organizations. They work tirelessly every day to create change and hope for victims in need.”
“While we have made tremendous progress driving down crime and violence across the country, far too many Americans continue to suffer the pain and loss of criminal victimization,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs, which oversees OVC. “This week, we stand by these survivors and their families, and we pledge our ongoing support to the countless men and women who serve them with such extraordinary skill and compassion.”
“Crime victims deserve to know that they have the encouragement and support of the American people,” said OVC Director Jessica E. Hart. “I hope that citizens throughout the nation will take the opportunity this week to remember all victims of crime and their heroic stories of survival. I encourage everyone to also find meaningful ways to express their appreciation to the many committed and compassionate service providers across the country who work tirelessly supporting these survivors.”
During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, victim advocacy organizations, community groups and state, local, and tribal agencies traditionally host rallies, candlelight vigils, and other events to raise awareness of victims’ rights and services. This year, many communities are organizing virtual gatherings and online public awareness campaigns.
OVC and the U.S. Attorney’s Office encourages widespread participation in the week’s virtual events and in other victim-related observances throughout the year. For additional information about this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and how to assist victims in your community, please visit OVC’s website at www.ovc.gov.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Justice Department has announced that OVC’s National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., held annually to honor outstanding individuals and programs that serve victims of crime, has been postponed. To be notified when a new date for this event is announced, please subscribe to OVC’s NCVRW email notifications at https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/subscribe/.
If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you believe you’ve been the target or victim of a crime, please contact your local law enforcement agency or your nearest FBI field office immediately. The FBI Portland Field Office can be reached at (503) 224-4181 or by submitting tips online at tips.fbi.gov.