8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1070, McLean, Virginia 22102-3823
Telephone (703) 748-0811
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January 1, l999

Frank G. Camngton, Esq.
Eric Smith, Esq.
Victim Services Center
William J. Olson, Esq.
Former Chairman of the Board
Legal Services Corporation
Jane Nady Sigmon, Ph.D.
Former Director
Office for Victims of Crime
U.S. Department of Justice
Mary Carrington
Mrs. Frank Carrington
The Honorable Edwin Meese, III
Former U.S. Attorney General
J.A. Parker
The Lincoln Institute
Morna A. Murray, Esq.

Dear Colleague:

This year, we commemorate National Crime Victims' Rights Week with the theme, "Victims ' Voices: Silent No More. " What a fitting theme for crime victims and those who serve them! During the week of April 25 to May l, 1999, we have the opportunity to promote victims' rights and services, and offer vital information and resources to victims who need support and assistance. It is indeed an honor to join together with crime victims and the countless volunteers and professionals who dedicate their lives to ensuring that victims' voices and needs are heard and heeded throughout our iustice system, and in communities large and small across our nation.

Victims' voices have left a powerful imprint on the face of American society. Today, over l0,000 community- and system-based organizations provide assistance and support to victims of crime. Victims' rights are defined in nearly 30,000 federal and state statutes, including 32 state-level constitutional amendments. Myriad partnerships have developed among victim advocates, justice professionals, public policymakers, the faith community, social service organizations, schools, and community groups to protect victims' rights, and to expand greatly needed services. These and other admirable efforts are propelled by the powerful voices of victims, and the poignancy of individual stories of pain and suffering.

VALOR, the Victims' Assistance Legal Organization, is pleased to have the opportunity to produce the l999 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Resource Guide with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. This Resource Guide contains a variety of materials and ideas that will help you plan your community and statewide activities to commemorate National Crime Victims' Rights Week. VALOR is extremely grateful for the outstanding efforts of consultants Anne Seymour, Jann Taylor, and Christine Edmunds in producing this year's Guide.

Winston Churchill once said, "The right to speak must be earned by having something to say." Crime victims in America and those who serve them have, indeed, earned the right to speak out about the importance of guaranteeing safety, support, and services to those in our communites who have been hurt by crime. We hope that this Resource Guide helps you in your efforts to speak out and to amplify the voices of victims. And as we speak out, let us also listen carefully to the voices of victims, the voices of strength and truth, as they point out the way to true justice for all.

Back to NCVRW 1999 Table of Contents

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