Landmarks in Victims Rights & Services
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that
all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of
earnest struggle.... If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
- The first crime victim compensation program is established in
- By 1970, five additional compensation programs are establishedNew
York, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland and the Virgin Islands.
- The first three victim assistance programs are established:
Aid for Victims of Crime in St. Louis, Missouri; Bay Area Women
Against Rape in San Francisco, California; and the Rape Crisis
Center in Washington, D.C.
- The Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA)
funds the first victim/ witness programs in the Brooklyn and Milwaukee
District Attorneys offices, plus seven others through a
grant to the National District Attorneys Association, to create
model programs of assistance for victims, encourage victim cooperation,
and improve prosecution.
- The first law enforcement-based victim assistance programs are
established in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Congress passes the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
which establishes the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect
(NCCAN). The new Center creates an information clearinghouse,
provides technical assistance and model programs.
- The first Victims Rights Week is organized
by the Philadelphia District Attorney.
- Citizen activists unite to expand victim services and increase
recognition of victims rights through the formation of the
National Organization for Victim
- Nebraska becomes the first state to abolish the marital rape
- The first national conference on battered women is sponsored
by the Milwaukee Task Force on Women in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- In Fresno County, California, Chief Probation Officer James
Rowland creates the first victim impact statement to provide the
judiciary with an objective inventory of victim injuries and losses
prior to sentencing.
- Womens Advocates in St. Paul, Minnesota, starts the first
hotline for battered women.
- Womens Advocates and Haven House in Pasadena, California,
establish the first shelters for battered women.
- The National Coalition Against Sexual Assault is formed to combat
sexual violence and promote services for rape victims.
- The National Coalition Against
Domestic Violence is organized as a voice for the battered
womens movement on a national level, and initiates the introduction
of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act in the U.S.
- Parents of Murdered Children
(POMC), a self-help support group, is founded in Cincinnati,
- Minnesota becomes the first state to allow probable cause (warrantless)
arrest in cases of domestic assault, regardless of whether a protection
order had been issued.
- Frank G. Carrington, considered by many to be the father
of the victims rights movement, founds the Crime Victims
Legal Advocacy Institute, Inc., to promote the rights of crime
victims in the civil and criminal justice systems. The nonprofit
organization was renamed VALOR, the Victims
Assistance Legal Organization, Inc., in 1981.
- The Office on Domestic Violence is established in the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, but is later closed in 1981.
- Congress fails to enact the Federal Law Enforcement Assistance
Administration (LEAA), and federal funding for victims programs
is phased out. Many grassroots and system-based programs
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving
(MADD) is founded after the death of 13-year-old Cari Lightner,
who was killed by a repeat offender drunk driver. The first two
MADD chapters are created in Sacramento, California, and Annapolis,
- The U.S. Congress passes the Parental Kidnapping Prevention
Act of 1980.
- Wisconsin passes the first Crime Victims Bill of
- The First National Day of Unity in October is established by
NCADV to mourn battered women who have died, celebrate women who
have survived the violence, and honor all who have worked to defeat
domestic violence. This Day becomes Domestic Violence Awareness
Week and, in 1987, expands to a month of awareness activities
- The first Victim Impact Panel is sponsored by Remove Intoxicated
Drivers (RID) in Oswego County, New York.
- Ronald Reagan becomes the first President to proclaim Crime
Victims Rights Week in April.
- The disappearance and murder of missing child Adam Walsh prompt
a national campaign to raise public awareness about child abduction
and enact laws to better protect children.
- In a Rose Garden ceremony, President Reagan appoints the Task
Force on Victims of Crime, which holds public hearings in six
cities across the nation to create a greatly needed national focus
on the needs of crime victims. The Task Force Final Report offers
68 recommendations that become the framework for the advancement
of new programs and policies. Its final recommendation, to amend
the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to guarantee that
. . . the victim, in every criminal prosecution, shall have
the right to be present-and to be heard at all critical stages
of judicial proceedings . . ., becomes a vital source of
new energy pushing toward the successful efforts to secure state
constitutional amendments through the 1980s and beyond.
- The Federal Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 brings
fair treatment standards to victims and witnesses
in the federal criminal justice system.
- California voters overwhelmingly pass Proposition 8, which guarantees
restitution and other statutory reforms to crime victims.
- The passage of the Missing Childrens Act of 1982 helps
parents guarantee that identifying information about their missing
child is promptly entered into the FBI National Crime Information
Center computer system.
- The first Victim Impact Panel sponsored by MADD, which educates
drunk drivers about the devastating impact of their criminal acts,
is organized in Rutland, Massachusetts.
- The Office
for Victims of Crime (OVC) is created by the U.S. Department
of Justice within the Office of Justice Programs to implement
recommendations from the Presidents Task Force on Victims
of Crime. OVC establishes a national resource center, trains professionals,
and develops model legislation to protect victims rights.
- The U.S. Attorney General establishes a Task Force on Family
Violence, which holds six public hearings across the United States.
- The U.S. Attorney General issues guidelines for federal victim
and witness assistance.
- In April, President Reagan honors crime victims in a White House
Rose Garden ceremony.
- President Reagan proclaims the first National Missing Childrens
Day in observance of the disappearance of missing child Etan Patz.
- The International Association of Chiefs of Police Board of Governors
adopts a Crime Victims Bill of Rights and establishes a
victims rights committee to bring about renewed emphasis
on the needs of crime victims by law enforcement officials nationwide.
- The passage of the Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA) establishes the
Crime Victims Fund, made up of federal criminal fines, penalties
and bond forfeitures, to support state victim compensation and
local victim service programs.
- President Reagan signs the Justice Assistance Act, which establishes
a financial assistance program for state and local government
and funds 200 new victim service programs.
- The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 is enacted, providing
strong incentives to states without 21 laws to raise
the minimum age for drinking, saving thousands of young lives
in years to come.
- The National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children is created as the national resource
agency for missing children. Passage of the Missing Childrens
Assistance Act provides a Congressional mandate for the Center.
- The Spiritual Dimension in Victim Services is founded to involve
the faith community in violence prevention and victim assistance.
- The U.S. Congress passes the Family Violence Prevention and
- Services Act, which earmarks federal funding for programs serving
victims of domestic violence.
- Concerns of Police Survivors
(COPS) is organized at the first police survivors seminar
held in Washington, D.C., by 110 relatives of officers killed
in the line of duty.
- A victim/witness notification system is established within the
Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Office for Victims of Crime hosts
the first national symposium on child molestation.
- Victim/witness coordinator positions are established in the
U.S. Attorneys offices within the U.S. Department of Justice.
- California State University-Fresno initiates the first Victim
Services Certificate Program offered for academic credit by a
- Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID) calls for a comprehensive Sane
National Alcohol Policy (SNAP) to curb aggressive promotions aimed
- The Crime Victims Fund deposits total $68 million.
- The National Center for Victims of Crime (formerly the National
Victim Center) is founded to promote the rights and needs of crime
victims, and to educate Americans about the devastating effect
of crime on our society.
- The United Nations General Assembly passes the International
Declaration on the Rights of Victims of Crime and the Abuse of
- President Reagan announces a Child Safety Partnership with 26
private-sector members to promote child safety, to clarify information
about child victimization, and to increase public awareness of
- The U.S. Surgeon General issues a report identifying domestic
violence as a major public health problem.
- The Office for Victims of Crime awards the first grants to support
state victim compensation and assistance programs.
- Two years after its passage, the Victims of Crime Act is amended
by the Childrens Justice Act to provide funds specifically
for the investigation and prosecution of child abuse.
- Rhode Island passes a constitutional amendment granting victims
the right to restitution, to submit victim impact statements,
and to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Victim compensation programs have been established in 35 states.
- MADDs Red Ribbon Campaign enlists motorists
to display a red ribbon on their automobiles, pledging to drive
safe and sober during the holidays. This national public awareness
effort has since become an annual campaign.
- Security on Campus, Inc.
(SOC) is established by Howard and Connie Clery, following
the tragic robbery, rape and murder of their daughter Jeanne at
Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. SOC raises national awareness
about the hidden epidemic of violence on our nations campuses.
- The American Correctional Association establishes a Task Force
on Victims of Crime.
- The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence establishes
the first national toll-free domestic violence hotline.
- Victim advocates in Florida, frustrated by five years of inaction
on a proposed constitutional amendment by their legislature, begin
a petition drive. Thousands of citizens sign petitions supporting
constitutional protection for victims rights. The Florida
legislature reconsiders, and the constitutional amendment appears
on the 1988 ballot.
- OVC establishes funds for the Victim Assistance in Indian Country
(VAIC) grant program to provide direct services to Native Americans
by establishing on-reservation victim assistance programs
in Indian Country.
- The National Aging Resource Center on Elder Abuse (NARCEA) is
established in a cooperative agreement among the American Public
Welfare Association, the National Association of State Units on
Aging, and the University of Delaware. Renamed the National
Center on Elder Abuse, it continues to provide information
- State v. Ciskie is the first case to allow the use of expert
testimony to explain the behavior and mental state of an adult
rape victim. The testimony is used to show why a victim of repeated
physical and sexual assaults by her intimate partner would not
immediately call the police or take action. The jury convicts
the defendant on four counts of rape.
- The Federal Drunk Driving Prevention Act is passed, and states
raise the minimum drinking age to 21.
- Constitutional amendments are introduced in Arizona, California,
Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, South Carolina and Washington.
Floridas amendment is placed on the November ballot, where
it passes with 90 percent of the vote. Michigans constitutional
amendment passes with over 80 percent of the vote.
- VOCA amendments legislatively establish the Office for Victims
of Crime, elevate the position of Director by making Senate confirmation
necessary for appointment, and induce state compensation programs
to cover victims of domestic violence, homicide and drunk driving.
In addition, VOCA amendments added a new priority
category of funding victim assistance programs at the behest of
MADD and POMC for previously underserved victims of crime.
- OVC also establishes a Federal Emergency Fund for victims in
the federal criminal justice system.
- The legislatures in Texas and Washington pass victims
rights constitutional amendments, which are both ratified by voters
the same year.
- The Crime Victims Fund deposits total over $146 million.
- Congress passes the Hate Crime Statistics Act requiring the
U.S. Attorney General to collect data of incidence of certain
crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual
orientation or ethnicity.
- The Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act, requiring
institutions of higher education to disclose murder, rape, robbery
and other crimes on campus, is signed into law by President Bush.
- The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, which features reforms
to make the federal criminal justice system less traumatic for
child victims and witnesses, is passed by Congress.
- The Victims Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 incorporates
a Bill of Rights for federal crime victims and codifies services
that should be available to victims of crime.
- Congress passes legislation proposed by MADD to prevent drunk
drivers and other offenders from filing bankruptcy to avoid paying
criminal restitution or civil fines.
- The Arizona petition drive to place the victims rights
constitutional amendment on the ballot succeeds, and it is ratified
- The first National Incidence Study on Missing, Abducted, Runaway
and Throwaway Children in America shows that over one million
children fall victim to abduction annually.
- The National Child Search Assistance Act requires law enforcement
to enter reports of missing children and unidentified persons
in the FBI National Crime Information Center computer system.
- U.S. Representative Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) files the first
Congressional Joint Resolution to place victims rights in
the U.S. Constitution.
- California State University-Fresno approves the first bachelors
degree program in victimology in the nation.
- The results of the first national public opinion poll to examine
citizens attitudes about violence and victimization, America
Speaks Out, are released by the National Center for Victims
of Crime (formerly the National Victim Center) during National
Crime Victims Rights Week.
- The 1991 Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness
Assistance implement new protections of the Crime Control Act
of 1990, integrating the requirements of the Federal Crime Victims
Bill of Rights, the Victims of Child Abuse Act and the Victim
and Witness Protection Act of 1982.
- The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) establishes
a Victim Issues Committee to examine victims issues and
concerns related to community corrections.
- The International Parental Child Kidnapping Act makes the act
of unlawfully removing a child outside the United States a federal
- The New Jersey legislature passes a victims rights constitutional
amendment, which is ratified by voters in November.
- Colorado legislators introduce a constitutional amendment on
the first day of National Crime Victims Rights Week. Fifteen
days later, the bill is unanimously passed by both Houses to be
placed on the ballot in 1992.
- In an 8 to 0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Simon
& Schuster v. New York Crime Victims Board that New Yorks
notoriety-for-profit statute was overly broad and, in the final
analysis, unconstitutional. Notoriety-for-profit statutes had
been passed by many states at this time to prevent convicted criminals
from profiting from the proceeds of depictions of their crime
in the media or publications. States must now review their existing
statutes to come into compliance with the Supreme Courts
- Rape in America: A Report to the Nation, published during
National Crime Victims Rights Week by the National Crime
Victims Research and Treatment Center and the National Center
for Victims of Crime, clarifies the scope and devastating effect
of rape in this nation, including the fact that 683,000 women
are raped annually in the United States.
- The Association of Paroling Authorities, International establishes
a Victim Issues Committee to examine victims needs, rights
and services in parole processes.
- Congress reauthorizes the Higher Education Bill which includes
the Campus Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights.
- The Battered Womens Testimony Act, which urges states
to accept expert testimony in criminal cases involving battered
women, is passed by Congress and signed into law by President
- In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Courtin R.A.V.
vs. City of St. Paulstruck down a local hate crimes ordinance
in Minnesota, which prohibited the display of a symbol which one
knew or has reason to know arouses anger, alarm or resentment
in others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender,
which was found to violate the first amendment.
- Five statesColorado, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri and New
Mexicoratify constitutional amendments for victims
- Twenty-eight states pass anti-stalking legislation.
- Massachusetts passes a landmark bill creating a statewide computerized
domestic violence registry and requires judges to check the registry
when handling such cases.
- Wisconsin ratifies its constitutional amendment for victims
rights, bringing the total number of states with these amendments
- President Clinton signs the Brady Bill requiring
a waiting period for the purchase of handguns.
- Congress passes the Child Sexual Abuse Registry Act, establishing
a national repository for information on child sex offenders.
- Twenty-two states pass stalking statutes, bringing the total
number of states with anti-stalking laws to 50, plus the District
- The American Correctional Association Victims Committee publishes
the landmark Report and Recommendations on Victims of Juvenile
Crime, which offers guidelines for improving victims
rights and services when the offender is a juvenile.
- Six additional states pass constitutional amendments for victims
rightsthe largest number ever in a single yearbringing
the total number of states with amendments to 20. States with
new amendments include Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Maryland, Ohio,
- President Clinton signs a comprehensive package of federal victims
rights legislation as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law
Enforcement Act. The Act includes:
- Violence Against Women Act, which authorizes more than $1
billion in funding for programs to combat violence against women.
- Enhanced VOCA funding provisions.
- Establishment of a National Child Sex Offender Registry.
- Enhanced sentences for drunk drivers with child passengers.
- Kentucky becomes the first state to institute automated telephone
voice notification to crime victims of their offenders status
and release date.
- OVC establishes the Community Crisis Response (CCR) program
to improve services to victims of violent crimes in communities
that have experienced crimes resulting in multiple victimizations.
- The Crime Victims Fund deposits total $233 million.
- Legislatures in three statesIndiana, Nebraska, and North
Carolinapass constitutional amendments that will be placed
on the ballot in 1996.
- The National Victims Constitutional Amendment Network
proposes the first draft of language for a federal constitutional
amendment for victims rights.
- The National Victim Assistance
Academy in Washington, D.C., graduates its first class. Supported
by the Office for Victims of Crime, the university-based Academy
provides an academically credited 45-hour curriculum on victimology,
victims rights and myriad other topics.
- Federal Victims Rights Constitutional Amendments are introduced
in both houses of Congress with bi-partisan support.
- Both presidential candidates and the Attorney General endorse
the concept of a Victims Rights Constitutional Amendment.
- The Crime Victims Fund reaches an historic high with deposits
over $525 million.
- Eight states ratify the passage of constitutional amendments
for victims rightsraising the total number of state
constitutional amendments to 29 nationwide.
- The Community Notification Act, known as Megans
Law, provides for notifying communities of the location
of convicted sex offenders by amendment to the national Child
Sexual Abuse Registry legislation.
- President Clinton signs the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act, providing one million dollars in funding to strengthen
anti-terrorism efforts, making restitution mandatory in violent
crime cases, and expanding the compensation and assistance services
for victims of terrorism both at home and abroad, including victims
in the military.
- The Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, enacted as Title
II of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, allows
federal courts to award public harm restitution directly
to state VOCA victim assistance programs. As a result of the new
sentencing guidelines, judges can require federal offenders in
certain drug offense cases to pay community restitution.
- The National Domestic Violence
Hotline is established to provide crisis intervention information
and referrals to victims of domestic violence and their friends
- The Church Arson Prevention Act is signed into law in July,
in response to increasing numbers of acts of arson against religious
institutions around the country.
- The Drug-Induced Rape Prevention Act is enacted to address the
emerging issue of the use of sedating drugs by rapists on victims.
- The Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP),
within the U.S. Department of Justice, issues the Juvenile Justice
Action Plan that includes recommendations for victims rights
and services for victims of juvenile offenders within the juvenile
- President Clinton directs the Attorney General to hold the federal
system to a higher standard of services for crime victims.
- In January, a federal victims rights constitutional amendment
is reintroduced in the opening days of the 105th Congress with
strong bipartisan support.
- In March, Congress passes the Victims Rights Clarification Act
of 1997 to clarify existing federal law allowing victims to attend
a trial and to appear as impact witnesses during the
sentencing phase of both capital and non-capital cases. Supported
by the Justice Department, President Clinton immediately signs
the Act, allowing the victims and survivors of the bombing of
the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City to both
observe the trial that is scheduled to begin within days and to
provide input later at sentencing.
- In April, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducts hearings on
the proposed federal constitutional amendment. While not endorsing
specific language, Attorney General Janet Reno testifies in support
of federal constitutional rights for crime victims.
- In June, President Clinton reaffirms his support of federal
constitutional rights for crime victims in a Rose Garden ceremony
attended by members of Congress, criminal justice officials, and
local, state, and national victims rights organizations.
Also that month, the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of
Representatives conducts its first hearing on the proposed amendment.
- In July, the Crime Victims Assistance Act is introduced into
the U.S. Senate, offering full-scale reform of federal rules and
federal law to establish stronger rights and protections for victims
of federal crime. This legislation further proposes to assist
victims of state crime through the infusion of additional resources
to make the criminal justice system more supportive of crime victims.
- To fully recognize the sovereignty of Indian Nations, OVC for
the first time provides victim assistance grants in Indian Country
directly to the tribes.
- A federal anti-stalking law is enacted by Congress.
- The Federal Crime Victims Fund reaches its second highest year
in fund collections with deposits totaling $363 million.
- OVC representatives join the United States Delegation to the
United Nations Commission on Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention.
OVC plays a leadership role in the development of an International
Victim Assistance Training Manual to implement the U.N. Declaration
of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse
- The National Center for Victims of Crime, using its extensive
legislative database, creates the Legislative Sourcebook, a comprehensive
compendium of victims rights laws in all states. Developed
with support from OVC, the Sourcebook becomes the definitive digest
of state legislation on crime victims rights laws for the
- OVC releases New
Directions from the Field: Victims Rights and Services for the
21st Century, which assesses the nations progress
in meeting the recommendations set forth in the Final Report of
the 1982 Presidents Task Force on Victims of Crime, and
issues over 250 new recommendations from the field for the next
- Senate Joint Resolution 44, a new version of the federal Victims
Rights Amendment, is introduced in the Senate by Senators Jon
Kyl (R-AZ) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The Senate Judiciary Committee
subsequently approves SJR 44 by an 11-6 vote. No further action
is taken on SJR 44 during the 105th Congress.
- Four new states pass state victims rights constitutional
amendments: Louisiana by a voter margin of approval of 69 percent;
Mississippi by 93 percent; Montana by 71 percent; and Tennessee
by 89 percent. The Supreme Court of Oregon overturns the Oregon
state victims rights amendment, originally passed in 1996,
citing structural deficiencies.
- The Higher Education Amendments of 1998, is passed. Part E of
this legislation, Grants to Combat Violent Crimes Against
Women on Campus, is authorized through the year 2003, and
appropriates a total of $10 million in grant funding to the Violence
Against Women Grants Office for fiscal year 1999. Another primary
aim of this legislation is to reduce binge drinking and illegal
alcohol consumption on college campuses.
- The Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act of 1998
is enacted, providing for numerous sentencing enhancements and
other initiatives addressing sex crimes against children, including
crimes facilitated by the use of interstate facilities and the
- The Crime Victims with Disabilities Act of 1998 is passed, representing
the first effort to systematically gather information on the extent
of the problem of victimization of individuals with disabilities.
This legislation directs the Attorney General to conduct a study
on crimes against individuals with developmental disabilities
within 18 months. In addition, the Bureau of Justice Statistics
must include statistics on the nature of crimes against individuals
with developmental disabilities and victim characteristics in
its annual National Crime Victimization Survey by 2000.
- The Identity Theft and Deterrence Act of 1998 outlawing identify
theft is signed into law. This landmark federal legislation directs
the U.S. Sentencing Commission to consider various factors in
determining penalties including the number of victims and the
value of the loss to any individual victim. The Act further authorizes
the Federal Trade Commission to log and acknowledge reports of
identity theft, provide information to victims, and refer complaints
to appropriate consumer reporting and law enforcement agencies.
- On January 19, 1999, the Federal Victims Rights Constitutional
Amendment (Senate Joint Resolution 3, identical to SJR 44) is
introduced before the 106th Congress.
- The Victim Restitution Enforcement Act of 1999, sponsored by
Senator Abraham Spencer (R-MI) and introduced in the Senate Judiciary
Committee on January 19, 1999, is officially titled a Bill to
Control Crime by Requiring Mandatory Victim Restitution. Components
of the proposed bill include establishment of procedures regarding
the courts ascertaining of the victims losses; requirement
that restitution to victims be ordered in the full amount of their
losses without consideration of the defendants economic
circumstances; and authorization of the court, upon application
of the United States, to enter a restraining order or injunction,
require the execution of a satisfactory performance bond, or take
any other action necessary to preserve the availability of property
or assets necessary to satisfy the criminal restitution order.
- Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) introduces the Violence Against
Women Act II, a bill that extends and strengthens the original
1994 Violence Against Women Act. Key provisions of this bill would:
(1) strengthen enforcement of stay away orders across
state lines; (2) boost spending for more womens shelters;
(3) end insurance discrimination against battered women; (4) extend
the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover court appearances by
battered women; and (5) target the date rape drug,
Rohypnol, with maximum federal penalties.
- The National Crime Victim
Bar Association is formed by the National Center for Victims
of Crime to promote civil justice for victims of crime.
- The National Crime Victimization Survey victimization rates
for 1999 are released, showing the lowest recorded crime rates
since the surveys creation in 1973.
- In April 2000, the Federal Victims Rights Constitutional
Amendment (SJR 3) is addressed for the first time by the full
U.S. Senate. On April 27, 2000, following two-and-a-half days
of debate, SJR 3 is withdrawn for further consideration by its
cosponsors, Senators Kyl (R-AZ) and Feinstein (D-CA), when it
becomes apparent that the measure would not receive a two-thirds
majority vote for approval.
- Congress passes a new national drunk driving limit of 0.08 blood
alcohol concentration (BAC) with the strong support of Mothers
Against Drunk Driving and other victim advocacy organizations,
as well as leading highway safety, health, medical, law enforcement,
and insurance groups. The new law, which passed with strong bipartisan
support, requires the states to pass 0.08 per se intoxication
laws or lose a portion of their annual federal highway funding.
- The Violence Against Women Act of 2000 is signed into law by
President Clinton, extending VAWA through 2005, and authorizing
funding at $3.3 billion over the five-year period. Among its numerous
provisions, VAWA II: authorizes $80 million a year for rape prevention
and education grants; expands federal stalking statute to include
stalking on the Internet; authorizes $875 million over five years
for battered womens shelters; authorizes $25 million in
2001 for transitional housing programs; and provides funding totaling
$25 million to address violence against older women and women
- The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 is enacted, to
prevent and prosecute the trafficking of persons and provide protection
and assistance for the victims of trafficking.
- The National Crime Victimization Survey results for 2000 are
released, showing that victimization rates continue to drop, reaching
a new low of 25.9 million victims.
- Regulations for victims of trafficking are adopted, providing
a wholesale change in the way the federal government responded
to a class of crime victims, affecting policies and procedures
at the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services,
and several Department of Justice agencies, including the FBI,
the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the U.S. attorneys
- Congress responds to the terrorism acts of September 11 with
a raft of legislation, providing funding for victim assistance,
tax relief for victims, and other accommodations and protections
for victims. A new federal compensation program specifically for
the victims of September 11 was created as part of the Air Transportation
Safety and System Stabilization Act. The program included many
types of damages normally available only through civil actions,
such as payment for pain and suffering, lifetime lost earnings,
and loss of enjoyment of life. Claimants must waive their right
to bring a civil action for damages suffered as a result of the
- As part of a package of anti-terrorism legislation called the
USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001, changes are made to the Victims of Crime
Act (VOCA), including increasing the percentage of state compensation
payments reimbursable by the federal government, and allowing
OVC to fund compliance and evaluation projects.
Compiled by the National Center for Victims of Crime
with the support and assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice
Office for Victims of Crime, Victims Assistance Legal Organization,
Inc. (VALOR), and the many national, state and local victim service
providers who offered documentation of their key victims rights
|National Crime Victims'
Rights Week: Bringing Honor to Victims