Tampa, FL – Acting U.S. Attorney Karin Hoppmann joins the Department of Justice and communities nationwide in observing the 40th observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, celebrating victims’ rights, protections, and services throughout the week. This year’s observance takes place April 18-24 and features the theme, “Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities.”
“Every day, we bear witness to stirring acts of heroism on the part of compassionate and courageous advocates – and crime victims themselves,” said Attorney General Garland. “One of our responsibilities is to ensure that victims are informed, have a voice, and are supported in the healing process. To the exceptional men and women we honor today – thank you for your service to crime victims, for your commitment to the safety of your communities, and for working to make America a more just and more compassionate place.”
“We at the U.S. Attorney’s Office join our colleagues throughout the Department in recognizing throughout this week our fundamental mission – to prevent all members of our communities from being victimized by federal criminal conduct, and to respect and care for those who are harmed by federal crimes. We also honor all those, in the Middle District of Florida and beyond, who work to ensure the administration of justice for crime victims. Through their tireless efforts, expertise, advocacy, and care, these dedicated individuals, agencies, and organizations allow victims to enter the path of recovery and begin the restoration of their lives.”
Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, putting crime victims’ rights, needs and concerns in a prominent spot on the American agenda. He also established the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime, which laid the groundwork for a national network of services and legal safeguards for crime victims.
The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW).
“We come together each year during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to show that we are united in our commitment to making sure all crime victims feel heard, respected and remembered,” said Office of Justice Programs Acting Assistant Attorney General Maureen A. Henneberg. “We honor these outstanding public safety professionals and advocates who work so hard to support crime victims as they walk the path from trauma to healing.”
According to the Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1.2 million Americans age 12 and older were victims of violent crime, excluding simple assault, in 2019, down from 1.4 million in 2018. An estimated 12.8 million U.S. households experienced one or more property victimizations. OVC supports more than 7,000 local victim assistance programs and victim compensation programs in every state and U.S. territory. Funds for these programs come from the Crime Victims Fund, which is made up of federal criminal fines, penalties and bond forfeitures.
“It is important for us as a country to set aside time during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to honor victims and to recognize those who advocate for resources and policies designed to meet the many serious challenges victims face,” said Office for Victims of Crime Acting Director Katherine Darke Schmitt. “Few people expect to be a victim, and no one deserves the pain and injustice that burden every crime survivor. We should take it upon ourselves this week, and every week, to show our unity with and compassion for those who have experienced the pain of victimization.”
During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, victim advocacy organizations, community groups and state, local and tribal agencies traditionally host rallies, candlelight vigils and other events to raise awareness of victims’ rights and services. This year, many communities are organizing virtual gatherings and online public awareness campaigns. For more information, please visit https://ovc.ojp.gov/program/national-crime-victims-rights-week/overview.