Northam honors crime victims, victim advocates at Capitol event
Governor Ralph Northam and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran joined crime victims and victim advocates to recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Governor Northam signed a proclamation recognizing Crime Victims’ Rights Week at an event sponsored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), in partnership with the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, the Virginia Victim Assistance Network, and the Virginia Victims Fund.
“We have come a long way in understanding the needs of victims since Virginia’s Code was amended to include victims’ rights in 1995,” said Governor Northam. “Victim advocates make it possible for those affected by crime to begin healing, and Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a tremendous opportunity to recognize the important work of the dedicated professionals that serve victims of crime, helping them to access critical support and reclaim their lives.”
Crime Victims’ Rights Week was first designated in 1981 as a way to recognize the needs of crime victims and the individuals and programs that serve those victims. Nationally, April 7–13, 2019 has been designated as Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme, Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future, emphasizes the progress that has been made in serving victims of crime. We honor those who have dedicated their careers to serving and supporting victims of crime, as well as advocates who have recently entered the field.
“We continue to strive for an innovative and collaborative approach to support victims of crime in our communities. Partnerships among victim advocates, public safety, and community organizations are essential to ensure the complex needs of victims are met,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “We thank the professionals that work together to empower victims for their contributions and sacrifice.”
At the event, Kassandra Bullock of the Virginia Victims Fund, Cristi Lawton of the Virginia Victim Assistance Network, and Jonathan Yglesias of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance highlighted their organizations’ work and the importance of victims’ services.
DCJS is the state agency that provides funding, training, and technical assistance for local victim/witness programs, sexual assault and domestic violence agencies, and other organizations serving victims of crime. DCJS provides approximately $60 million in state and federal funds to support 420 crime victim assistance projects throughout Virginia.
Additional information about victims’ services is available on the DCJS website at www.dcjs.virginia.gov.