FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 6, 2016

April 10th-16th Is Nation­al Crime Vic­tims’ Rights Week

Union Coun­ty State’s Attor­ney Tyler R. Edmonds is alert­ing the pub­lic that April 10–16, 2016 is Nation­al Crime Vic­tims’ Rights Week. The Office for Vic­tims of Crime (OVC) helps lead com­mu­ni­ties through­out the coun­try in their annu­al obser­vances of Nation­al Crime Vic­tims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) every April by pro­mot­ing vic­tims’ rights, and hon­or­ing crime vic­tims and those who advo­cate on their behalf. This year’s Nation­al Crime Vic­tims’ Rights Week will be held April 10–16, and the theme — Serv­ing Vic­tims. Build­ing Trust. Restor­ing Hope. — presents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to high­light the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing need­ed ser­vices at the ear­li­est stage of vic­tim­iza­tion. Ear­ly inter­ven­tion helps pre­vent both fur­ther vic­tim­iza­tion and involve­ment in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, thus address­ing the cycle of vio­lence and restor­ing hope for the future.

Nation­al Crime Vic­tims’ Rights Week hon­ors and cel­e­brates the achieve­ments of the past thir­ty years in secur­ing rights, pro­tec­tions, and ser­vices for vic­tims. The bipar­ti­san Vic­tims of Crime Act (VOCA), passed by Con­gress in 1984, cre­at­ed a nation­al fund to ease vic­tims’ suf­fer­ing. Financed by fines and penal­ties paid by offend­ers, the Crime Vic­tims Fund sup­ports ser­vices for vic­tims of all types of crime, includ­ing assis­tance for homi­cide sur­vivors, sur­vivors of child sex­u­al abuse, and vic­tims of human traf­fick­ing as well as rape cri­sis cen­ters and domes­tic vio­lence pro­grams among oth­ers. VOCA also funds vic­tim com­pen­sa­tion pro­grams that pay vic­tims’ out-of-pock­et expens­es such as coun­sel­ing, funer­al expens­es, and lost wages.

If vic­tims are to trust that the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem will work for them, we must meet them where they are—physically, cul­tur­al­ly, and emo­tion­al­ly,” said Joye E. Frost, Direc­tor, Office for Vic­tims of Crime (OVC), U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice. “When we take the time to focus on the vic­tim in the after­math of crime — to address their needs for safe­ty and jus­tice — we can begin to build trust and restore the hope of those vic­tims and their com­mu­ni­ties. We all play a role in help­ing vic­tims as they rebuild their lives.” OVC encour­ages wide­spread par­tic­i­pa­tion in the week’s events and in oth­er vic­tim-relat­ed obser­vances through­out the year. The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice will host OVC’s annu­al Ser­vice Awards Cer­e­mo­ny on Tues­day, April 12, in Wash­ing­ton, DC, to hon­or out­stand­ing indi­vid­u­als and pro­grams that serve vic­tims of crime.

The Union Coun­ty State’s Attorney’s Office encour­ages com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to report inci­dents of crime and pro­mote aware­ness and pub­lic edu­ca­tion about crime dur­ing the annu­al observance.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact the State’s Attorney’s Office at 618–833-7216.  Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion is also avail­able at www.victimsofcrime.org and www.ovw.usdoj.gov.