Office of Victims of Crime National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 23-29, 2006 Victims' Rights: Strength in Unity
Photo of hands holding candles aloft in commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights Week events.
Grocery Cart Placards and Grocery Bag Inserts

In Roanoke, Virginia, the Family Violence Coordinating Council's NCVRW project goal was to give domestic violence victims an uncomplicated, safe, and nonthreatening method of obtaining information about available victim services. It was determined that the "Are You Afraid?" public service information would reach the largest heterogeneous population at a grocery store. The area's dominant grocery chain was identified, and four stores were chosen for the campaign. Placards listing five victim assistance resources were developed, printed, and placed on all grocery carts in the four stores. The intent was that even a short stay in the store would allow a victim the opportunity to memorize at least one of the five resources listed on the cart placard. The council has received feedback that many victims have called the listed victim service programs after seeing the grocery cart placards.

In Grant County, Indiana, 5,000 half-sheet fliers were printed and disseminated to shoppers in the bags of 5 different grocery stores throughout the county during NCVRW. One side of the flier told how to get help from different community-based victim service providers, and included names, contact information, and the county's 24-hour crisis hotline number. A list of Indiana crime victims' rights was featured on the other side of the flier.

Movie Theater Infomercials

In Kenai, Alaska, educational infomercials were played during intermission at the local movie theater. Three slides with 3-second sound bites advertised local victim services. The infomercials played for 10 weeks starting during NCVRW and reached an estimated 3,000 individuals per week. All moviegoers received a victim services brochure and an informational bookmark with their admission ticket.

In Mariposa, California, theater ad space was purchased to highlight California victims' rights and provide telephone numbers for local victim service agencies. The theater ad space was purchased for 1 year (April 2005-March 2006) on two cinema screens to run for five movies per day on each screen.

Lawn Signs

In St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes, Louisiana, 50 lawn signs featuring the dates of NCVRW and a message urging viewers to "Decide What You Can Do To End Sexual Violence!" were distributed in neighborhoods throughout both parishes to build awareness of the month's activities and events. Numerous calls were received requesting additional signs for posting on home lawns.

In Allen County, Indiana, 50 lawn signs announcing the NCVRW Fair were placed throughout a neighborhood identified as the highest crime area in Fort Wayne. The lawn signs encouraged attendance and participation in the event and had high visibility throughout the neighborhood. The fair resulted in 20 displays and the attendance of 60 professionals and 250 community members.

"Turn the Lights On" Project

In Duchess County, New York, the Crime Victims Assistance Program of Family Services, Inc., coordinated with the New York State Bridge Authority to turn the lights blue on the Mid-Hudson River Bridge in recognition of NCVRW and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. A media campaign accompanied the project to inform the community of the event and its meaning.

Ribbon Projects

In Grant County, Indiana, a father-daughter team of concerned community members created seven enormous ribbons of various colors depicting different types of crime victimization. These ribbons were placed in the windows of businesses around the county courthouse. The idea was to draw attention to the courthouse in the days leading up to the NCVRW rally. In addition, 14 large bows of the same colors were placed on the lamp posts surrounding the courthouse. During the rally, 12-inch ribbons of the same color—which had been cut by college student volunteers—were handed out to all participants to tie on their car antennas in support of crime victims during NCVRW.

In Boise, Idaho, the Idaho Child Abuse Prevention Coalition distributed 34,000 blue ribbons during NCVRW by person-to-person distribution to community members, and via creative placements in paycheck envelopes, at community meetings and conferences, and at ticket counters at local movie theaters.

Digital Storytelling Event

In Denver, Colorado, a collaboration of victim service organizations organized the Digital Storytelling Community Screening Project, which used a communication method that integrated aspects of creative writing, oral history, art, and narrative therapy with digital media to help victims tell about their experiences in short videos. The project provided diverse survivors of crime, violence, and oppression with an opportunity to tell their personal stories. Each short digital production took about 3 days to create and included the victims' voices, pictures, video clips, and, in some cases, a soundtrack of their choice.

During NCVRW, a free screening of the digital stories was conducted for the public at a Denver café that donated its space for the event. The screening began with an introduction to the NCVRW collaborative partners and the digital storytelling process. The eight digital stories were then screened, and a question-and-answer session with the eight victim/survivor storytellers and the audience followed. The screening was also accompanied by other forms of expression, such as poetry exhibited on display boards and books showcasing survivors' stories. Information from several victim service organizations was also available. As a result of extensive pre-event marketing, there were 150 guests in attendance.

Film Festival

In Mariposa, California, the local NCVRW collaboration of victim service organizations partnered with Sixth Street Cinemas to feature a film about victimization every Thursday night during the month of April. Before each film, the 2005 NCVRW theme DVD was shown, and the importance of NCVRW in raising awareness about all crimes and victim assistance was discussed. After each film, a program sponsor led a discussion with the audience about the film and its subject matter. The film festival was advertised through local newspapers and community e-mail listservs.

"Passport to Justice" Fair

In Rice County, Minnesota, an information fair was held as the kickoff event on the Friday evening prior to NCVRW, with 200 people in attendance. The theme was "Passport to Justice." The first floor of the courthouse and the Veteran Services Auditorium were used as locations for the attendee "travelers" to visit. The exhibits were set up by local victim service organizations and agencies to share information about their services through quizzes and games. After stopping at each exhibit, participants' passports were stamped and they received a prize. Each prize included the community crisis hotline number or a list of community victim assistance resources. County law enforcement agencies had crime prevention exhibits and also offered prizes. The county community corrections agency had a booth about victims' roles in the criminal justice system. There was a signup location for courtroom tours during the fair. At the conclusion of the fair, a victim survivor presented her story from the steps of the courthouse. At the close of her speech, a neighboring church rang its bell 25 times in recognition of the 25th anniversary of NCVRW. As participants left the courthouse lawn, each person was given a pack of flower seeds with the message, "We are planting the seeds of justice."

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