The National Victim Assistance Academy is a result of the vision, leadership, and support of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. Special thanks are extended to OVC Acting Director Kathryn Turman, Deputy Director Carolyn Hightower, and Federal Project Monitor Laura Federline. It has been and continues to be an honor and privilege to assist OVC in this training and educational endeavor.

Tremendous effort has been devoted to planning and implementing the National Victim Assistance Academy. A committed and talented Project Team--comprised of experts in victim services and criminal justice practitioners from non-profit organizations and academic institutions--contributed to conducting research, developing curriculum, detailed planning, and logistical arrangements. An array of academics, practitioners, and victim advocacy professionals in the field of victim assistance have served as faculty members for the 1995-99 Academies and have dedicated large amounts of time to educating and mentoring National Victim Assistance Academy students. We are grateful for their contributions.

The 1999 Text, which has been rewritten for this year's Academy, is a result of the collaboration, hard work, and dedicated commitment of the Academy Project Team and other leaders in the field who contributed their time and expertise to this major undertaking.

Very special thanks go to a core team of editors, including Grace Coleman, Ann Dyer, and Jann Taylor. Their hard work and dedication to excellence went far beyond the call of duty. Managing and primary writers/editors were Morna Murray and Anne Seymour. Melissa Hook was a contributing editor.

The Project Team conveys our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Federal Project Monitor Laura Federline who, over the course of the past five years, has supported and assisted the Academy in every way possible. Her roles in the 1999 Text rewrite included resource assistance, writing, and editing--her ongoing support was integral to this effort.

We offer our deepest respect and admiration for the Academy students, past and present, who have demonstrated their commitment to improving their ability to assist and support victims of crime by participating in the National Victim Assistance Academy. We are grateful to have the opportunity to share information, knowledge, and experience with the hundreds of Academy participants who have graduated from the Academy to date, and to in turn witness their remarkable and everyday contributions to the field of victim assistance. Their feedback has been invaluable in improving and refining the Academy Curriculum.

Finally, and most importantly, we at the National Victim Assistance Academy are grateful to the millions of crime victims around the world for their willingness to guide us in transforming their personal tragedies into hope, action, and positive change. We honor them as we approach the fifth National Victim Assistance Academy and reaffirm our commitment to the discipline of victim assistance and to continuing our efforts to secure better and more comprehensive rights and services for all victims of crime.

Morna A. Murray, J.D.

National Victim Assistance Academy Project Director

1999 National Victim Assistance Academy

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