P.O. Box 862, McLean, Virginia 22101-0862
January 2, 1996

Dear Colleague:

When we consider the progress made since former President Ronald Reagan honored crime victims in the first Rose Garden Ceremony in 1981, it is clear that the crime victims' rights movement has had a profound impact on our entire nation. Thousands of laws have been passed in the last fifteen years and thousands of crime victim service programs have become established. A new day is dawning for crime victims. It is a day when all crime victims are treated with dignity and respect and have the right to participate fully in criminal justice proceedings related to their cases.

During the week of April 21 to 27, 1996, we have the opportunity to pay tribute to victims of crime and violence and to recognize the many advocates and allied professionals who provide much needed assistance and support. The theme for 1996 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) is Victim Justice: A New Day Dawns. As we commemorate National Crime Victims' Rights Week this year, let us remember the earlier days and renew our commitment to ensuring the new days of fair treatment and comprehensive services for all victims.

VALOR, the Victims' Assistance Legal Organization, Inc., is pleased to have the opportunity to produce the 1996 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Resource Guide with the support of the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime. This Resource Guide contains a variety of materials that will assist you in planning your community and statewide activities to commemorate NCVRW. We are also very pleased that, for the first time in the history of our field, the Guide is ready for your use four months before NCVRW.

VALOR is a national non-profit crime victims' advocacy organization. To produce this Guide, VALOR tapped the outstanding talents of consultants Christine Edmunds and Anne Seymour. We are also grateful to the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. for assisting to conduct an art contest for students. Selected Corcoran students' work is contained in this year's Resource Guide. In addition, we are pleased to have 24 national organizations join us as co-sponsors.

This year, the devastating impact of crime will be felt by forty-four million people in America. As you strive to respond to the needs of crime victims in your community, we hope that your National Crime Victims' Rights Week activities will bring new attention and resources to assist victims and combat crime.

Eric SmithJane Nady Burnley, Ph.D.
PresidentExecutive Director

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