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Working With Media

Sample Press Release

CONTACT: [Name/Title/Agency]
[A/C-Telephone #]

"Victims' Rights: Reach for the Stars"
America Commemorates the 21st Anniversary of
National Crime Victims' Rights Week

[City/State] - During the week of April 22 to 28, 2001, crime victims, service providers, criminal and juvenile justice and allied professionals, and community volunteers will join together across America to commemorate the 21st anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. This year's theme, "Victims' Rights: Reach for the Stars," emphasizes the continued hope and aspirations for our nation to treat crime victims with dignity and compassion, and to provide them with services and support in the often devastating aftermath of criminal victimization.

The year 2001 also marks the 25th anniversary of the victim impact statement, which offers our criminal and juvenile justice systems important insights into the emotional, physical, and financial effects of crime on its victims. First implemented in Fresno County, California in 1976, the victim impact statement has become a vital and valued component of justice processes, providing the "voice of the victim" to promote greater understanding of victims' needs and victim trauma.

For nearly three decades, the victims' rights discipline has strived to place crime victims' concerns and issues on the forefront of America's public policy agenda. Over 30,000 laws have been passed at the federal, state, and local levels that promote victims' rights and services, including constitutional amendments in 32 states [including yours, if applicable]. And 10,000 organizations exist today in our justice systems and communities that provide help and hope to victims of crime.

According to [spokesperson], the quantity and quality of victim services that exist today are a direct result of countless individuals who have dared to dream of a society where true justice is possible, and consistent compassion for victims is a reality in our homes, neighborhoods, communities, and nation.

"A mere three decades ago, victims were ignored by the justice system and, for the most part, forgotten by society," [spokesperson] noted. "Today, victims have a powerful voice not only in the criminal and juvenile justice system, but in our communities—voices that contribute to crime prevention, offender accountability, improved services and support for people hurt by crime, and safer communities as a whole."

Here in [city/county/state], numerous activities have been planned to recognize victims of crime and those who serve them during National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Included are: [cite examples of special events].

Kathryn Turman, Director of the Office for Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department of Justice, encourages people across America to join the Justice Department in saluting the significant achievements of America's crime victims, service providers, and justice professionals.

"Because of the work of so many dedicated individuals who have dared to dream of a nation that respects crime victims, we now have laws on the books and services throughout the country to support victims' rights and needs," Turman said. "National Crime Victims' Rights Week gives us the opportunity to thank crime victims and those who serve them, and to continue making the dream of comprehensive victims' rights and services a reality in every community."

Members of our community are encouraged to join together during 2001 National Crime Victims' Rights Week and honor those who bring honor to victims of crime. For additional information about National Crime Victims' Rights Week, please contact [name], [title], or [agency/organization] at [area code/telephone number], or visit [name of agency's] Web site at [Web site address].


Type your press release double-spaced on the sample letterhead included in this Resource Guide. If your press release is more than one page, type "- more -" in the bottom right corner of the front page, and paper clip the second page to the first page. Add the title and date of the press release, plus "Page Two", in the top left corner of the second page.


National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Reach for the Stars
April 22-28, 2001
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