2003 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Banner

Sample Press Release

CONTACT: (Name/Title/Agency)

"Victims' Rights: Fufill the Promise"
America Commemorates the 23rd Anniversary of
National Crime Victims' Rights Week

(City/State) — During the week of April 6th through the 12th, 2003, crime victims, service providers, criminal and juvenile justice and allied professionals, and community volunteers will join together across America to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. This year's theme, "Victims' Rights: Fulfill the Promise," emphasizes America's promise to victims to treat them with dignity and compassion; to help identify and meet their most important needs; and to provide them with information about their statutory and constitutional rights, as well as advocacy to help them implement their rights.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the national leadership on victims' issues provided through the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC). Founded in 1983 by the U.S. Department of Justice and placed within the Office of Justice Programs to implement the recommendations of President Reagan's 1982 President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, OVC provides leadership, support and funding to community- and system-based agencies and organizations that provide victim assistance.

Since 1972, the victims' rights discipline has strived to place crime victims' concerns and issues on the forefront of America's public policy agenda. Over 32,000 laws have been passed at the federal, state and local levels that promote victims' rights and services, including constitutional amendments in 33 states (including yours, if applicable). And today, there are 10,000 community- and justice system-based organizations that provide help and hope to victims of crime.

According to (spokesperson), America's "promise" to victims cannot be kept without a recognition that when crime affects one person, it affects us all.

"The domino effect of criminal victimization is tremendous," (spokesperson) said. "The physical, emotional, and financial devastation a victim suffers has repercussions that touch us all — in our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools, in our workplaces and beyond."

"Our promise to victims — of support and services to help them in the aftermath of crime — requires the commitment and compassion of anyone to whom a victim might turn for help," (spokesperson) concluded.

Here in (city/county/state), a number of 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, and attach any relevant summaries to this press release).

John W. Gillis, Director of the Office for Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department of Justice, encourages all people in America who are concerned with community safety to consider what they can do to "fulfill the promise" to victims of crime.

"An act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a world of difference to a victim of crime," Gillis explained. "By reaching out to a victim in need of support, every person in our great nation can `fulfill the promise' of treating victims with respect, identifying and meeting their needs, and helping them seek justice.

" For twenty years, the Office for Victims of Crime has provided leadership and support to America's victims' rights movement. During National Crime Victims' Rights Week and throughout the year, I ask that each of us do what we can to reach out to any victim who needs help," he concluded.

Members of our community are encouraged to join together during 2003 National Crime Victims' Rights Week, and honor not only victims of crime, but also those who bring honor to victims on a daily basis. For additional information about 2003 National Crime Victims' Rights Week, please contact (name), (title), at (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.

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Fulfill the Promise April 6–12, 2003
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