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.
Hosting Runs/Walks

During NCVRW, the Victim Services Coalition of Central Florida hosted a 5K run/walk called Put Your Foot Down Against Violence. More than 400 people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and careers joined in the celebration. At the start and finish of the route, runners and walkers were greeted by a full display of the Clothesline Project (with more than 500 T-shirts from 5 different agencies). Service providers from 17 victim service agencies hosted booths to distribute literature and answer questions about victim services in the local community. Water bottles imprinted with the names and phone numbers of all member agencies of the Victim Services Coalition of Central Florida were distributed during the event. Magnets that were paid for by a donation from a corporate sponsor were designed and produced with the NCVRW logo and local hotline numbers, and were distributed to all participants and spectators at the event, in addition to the 200-plus attendees at the annual recognition breakfast. The event was advertised extensively through newspaper and radio ads, e-mail databases, and 100 color posters that were distributed by the coalition partners. Event information and contact numbers were also posted on numerous Web sites, including running, fitness, and participating victim service agencies' sites.

Motorcycle Run

In Sutter County, California, the collaborative partners kicked off NCVRW with a celebratory motorcycle run sponsored by the Sutter Deputy Sheriffs' Association. An estimated 30 motorcyclists and their partners participated. A raffle was held for gift certificates donated by a local motorcycle accessory business. Family entertainment and refreshments were provided, and victim resource information packages in English, Spanish, and Punjabi (which are the three prominent languages in the area) were handed out to those in attendance. Spanish and Punjabi interpreters were available for participants who needed translation services. An estimated 90 people attended the event. Fliers were disseminated by deputies while on service calls at local businesses, schools, and citizens. Fliers were also provided to seven pizza companies that distributed fliers with any pizza purchased or delivered.

Geocache Community Scavenger Hunt

In Sutter County, California, the "Anchoring Our Community" collaboration closed NCVRW with a geocache community scavenger hunt. Geocaching is a form of scavenger hunt done with GPS equipment and coordinates. (The word geocaching broken out is geo for geography, and caching for the process of hiding a cache. A cache in computer terms is information usually stored in memory to make it faster to retrieve, but the term is also used in hiking and camping as a place for concealing and preserving provisions. Geocaching has become a popular outdoor activity. See for more information.) The deputy sheriffs' association sponsored the event and helped facilitate the geocaching groups. Refreshments were served to the 75 people in attendance, and donated prizes were given away as part of the event, including a GPS system, bicycles, DVD players, cameras, toys, and educational materials. Volunteers from the local Hispanic and East Indian communities assisted with the event. The school district distributed fliers in English, Spanish, and Punjabi. Information was also sent home in the weekly school district mailing to parents and guardians of the students.

Blood Drive

In Mariposa, California, the collaborative NCVRW sponsors hosted a blood drive on the front lawn of the courthouse. During the event, a partial Clothesline Project was displayed. Tables were set up with informational materials, and individuals were available to answer questions about crime victims' rights and various services in the community. There were 200 community members in attendance, with 60 participants offering to donate blood.

Denim Day

To recognize NCVRW and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Mariposa, California, collaborating partners hosted a Denim Day. More than 600 buttons were distributed to individuals who wanted to participate in Denim Day, which is an internationally observed event that was started in 1999 in response to an Italian Supreme Court decision that blamed a young woman's sexual assault on the tight blue jeans she wore when she was attacked. Although the opinion was later overturned, it took an international outcry for this to happen, thus giving rise to Denim Day. The local event, which encouraged participants to wear denim on the designated day, was advertised in the media and by distribution of fliers and buttons.

Diaper Changing Table Campaign

In Boise, Idaho, the Idaho Child Abuse Prevention Coalition developed a special waterproof label for diaper changing tables in public restrooms. The labels provided information about child abuse and listed the contact information for local service agencies and organizations. There were 1,000 labels distributed, along with informational materials about child abuse and available services.

Bookmark Project

In Grant County, Indiana, the NCVRW coalition printed 12,000 bookmarks with the NCVRW logo and the local 24-hour crisis hotline phone number. These bookmarks were distributed to all public and school libraries in the county and disseminated during NCVRW to community members who used the library.

Outreach to School Students

In Humboldt, Iowa, the collaborative partners, led by the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, held an all-day Community Connections Conference at the county's senior high school, and invited the whole student body of 425 students and their parents to attend. The conference addressed violence, bullying, dating violence, and drugs, among other topics. Previously, there had been difficulty getting permission from the school administration to provide educational programs regarding violence or victim services, but with NCVRW and the broad multidisciplinary coalition of agencies planning this event, permission was easily obtained. The entire student body began the day in the auditorium where a local rock band played for 15 minutes and a dramatic 30-minute presentation about sexually motivated crimes was provided. Students then were divided into groups of 50, with each group rotating to different locations in the school to hear presenters on seven topics, including a victim impact panel, drug-related crimes, consequences for those who commit crimes, bullying and harassment, and dating violence. Simple snacks were available in all of the sessions. Students also had the opportunity to take rape whistles with contact information for crisis assistance, and drink testers for acquaintance rape drug testing. The local library made a brochure advertising materials they had available that supported the event topics. These brochures were sent home to parents with a letter that asked for feedback. Many letters were returned with comments from parents who said they were shocked that their teenager had so much to say about the event. All parents' responses were very positive.

In Boise, Idaho, the NCVRW coalition asked local elementary school children to draw pictures and write statements about what they thought children's rights should be. The pictures and statements were then displayed at the local human rights memorial at the end of NCVRW. The event received excellent news coverage.

In De Queen, Arkansas, the NCVRW partners made a total of 26 presentations in the county's public schools that focused on the topic of bullying. Blue and silver ribbons with "Cherish the Child" printed on them were given to each student. Nearly 600 students were reached through this public awareness project.

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