January 1, 2001
This year we mark the 21st anniversary of the commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights Week with the theme "Victims' Rights: Reach for the Stars." As we gather together all across the country to honor victims and those who serve them, it is a good time to reflect upon our accomplishments, as well as what lies ahead, as we continue to reach for the stars in our work on behalf of victims of crime.
This work began over thirty years ago when pioneers in the field of victim services reached for something previously inconceivablethe provision of basic rights within the criminal and juvenile justice systems for innocent victims of crime. Today, there are over 30,000 laws nationwide that define and protect victims' rights, as well as over 10,000 national, state, and local organizations that provide assistance to people who have been hurt by crime. We have made tremendous progress, but as always, there is more work to be done.
It is our sincere hope that this Resource Guide, developed with the assistance of the Office for Victims of Crime, will provide ideas and resources to use during your commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights Week and throughout the year. This year we have chosen graphics that remind us of the reality that long after public attention has faded from a crime scene, the victims who suffered the harm continue to need and require crucial services, assistance, and protection throughout the long and painful ordeal that is the aftermath of crime. As we approach this year's commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, let us reach for the stars in working to establishas a matter of rightbetter services, more comprehensive assistance, and consistent enactment and enforcement of legal rights and protection for all victims of crime.