United States Attorney’s Office Commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina and the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime will join communities nationwide in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and celebrating victims’ rights, protections and services. This year’s observance takes place April 19-25 and features the theme, “Seek Justice| Ensure Victims' Rights | Inspire Hope.”
“Protecting the victims of criminal activity, and ensuring their rights are honored in the process, is a cornerstone of justice,” said U.S. Attorney McCoy. “I would ask that everyone spend time this week lifting up those victims, who stand tall against the worst of the worst, and inspire all of us.”
Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, putting crime victims' rights, needs and concerns in a prominent spot on the American agenda. He also established the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, which laid the groundwork for a national network of services and legal safeguards for crime victims. President Trump and his administration have implemented historic levels of support for victim assistance and victim compensation.
Here in South Carolina, in addition to its national partners in support of victims of crime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office works with state partners such as the South Carolina State Human Trafficking Task Force, the South Carolina Victims Assistance Network and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office of Crime Victims’ Compensation. Together, these groups provide essential services to victims, victim compensation, and many other resources.
“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.”
Some 3.3 million Americans age 12 and older were victims of violent crime in 2018, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. The Office for Victims of Crime, part of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, supports more than 7,000 local victim assistance programs and victim compensation programs in every state and U.S. territory. Funds for these programs come from the Crime Victims Fund, which is made up of federal criminal fines, penalties and bond forfeitures.
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.
“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.”
For more information on how to create your own public campaigns to raise awareness about crime victims’ rights online and at events throughout the year, please visit: https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2020/overview.html.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982
Updated April 20, 2020