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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 18-24, 2004 banner

Sample Press Release

CONTACT: (Name/Title/Agency)

“Victims’ Rights: America’s Values”
America Commemorates the 24th Anniversary of
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

(City/State) – During the week of April 18th through the 24th, 2004, crime victims and survivors, victim service providers, criminal and juvenile justice and allied professionals, and community volunteers will join together across America to commemorate the 24th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme, “Victims’ Rights: America’s Values,” helps us recognize that when we value equal rights for all Americans, safety and protection for those who have been victimized, and justice for all, we value crime victims’ rights and services.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Crime Victims Fund established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) which, over the past two decades, has provided over $5.5 billion for victim assistance programs that offer a wide range of services to crime victims, and victim compensation that helps victims cope with the financial impact of crime. VOCA is not derived from taxpayers’ dollars but, rather, from Federal criminal fines, forfeited appearance bonds, and special assessments on Federal convictions. Here in (community/state), VOCA funds are utilized to (describe the wide range of VOCA-funded services, including victim compensation).

Since 1972, the victim assistance field has worked to ensure that crime victims are treated with compassion and respect; that they are informed of their rights and involved in justice processes as more than just witnesses; and that they are aware of victim assistance and compensation programs that can help them cope with the aftermath of crime. Over 30,000 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 over 10,000 organizations that provide help and hope to victims of crime in our community, and throughout our criminal and juvenile justice systems.

According to (spokesperson), America’s shared values relevant to victim assistance include equality, safety and justice for all people in our nation.

“As Albert Einstein said, ‘Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value’,” (spokesperson) said. “In America today, a ‘person of value’ is aware of the threat of violence and victimization, and is prepared and willing to respond to its impact on individuals and communities by offering to provide a kind word, support, or assistance in accessing victim services to crime victims and survivors.”

Here in (city/county/state), a number of activities have been planned to recognize victims of crime and those who serve them during 2004 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 share the core value of equal justice for all Americans to join in the commemoration of 2004 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“Nobody asks to be victimized by violence and, when a crime occurs, victims need to be aware that they have rights within our justice system and many services to help them cope with the victimization,” Gillis explained. “When we are informed and aware of victims’ rights and services, we are committed to shared values of justice for all, and assistance and support for our family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors who are hurt by crime.”

“The Crime Victims Fund that is administered by OVC has, for 20 years, had a significant impact on providing quality victim services and assistance to victims to help them understand their rights and access available services. During 2004 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and throughout the year, I ask that we all support the vital work of victim service providers and justice professionals in our communities and nation that offer help and hope to victims and survivors of crime,” he concluded.

Members of our community are encouraged to join together during 2004 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 2004 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: Victims' Rights: America's Values April 18–24, 2004
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