(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
"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)
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
" 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).
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