Press release from the Jefferson County Coalition for Victims of Crime:
Jefferson County Coalition for Victims of Crime Hosts 23rd Annual Crime Victims’ Candlelight Vigil
“New Challenges. New Solutions”
2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: April 21-27
April 21, 2013, marks the beginning of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to honor victims and the advocates of victims’ rights. This year’s theme-“New Challenges. New Solutions”-celebrates the spirit that will advance victims’ rights.
Remarkable progress has been made for all crimevictims, despite many challenges. Only 30 years ago, crime victims had no rights, access to crime victim’s compensation, or services to rebuild their lives. They were often excluded from courtrooms, treated as an afterthought by the criminal justice system, and denied an opportunity to speak at sentencing.
Yet through decades of advocacy and hard work, we have come a long way. Today, all states have enacted crime victims’ rights laws and established crime victim’s compensation funds. More than 10,000 victim services agencies help victims throughout the nation. Every year, states and localities receive millions of federal dollars to support these services.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week reminds us that many challenges remain. Crime victims’ rights are not universal and are often not enforced. Advocates also face a host of new challenges as they strive to provide culturally competent services for increasingly diverse populations and victims of newly prevalent crimes. As funding decreases, providers must target their services more strategically.
“New Challenges. New Solutions” reminds us that we must craft a new vision for reaching all victims of crime. We must broaden our thinking, strategically plan our future, and creatively expand our resources and tools.
To honor all victims of crimes and the agencies that serve these victims and their families, The Jefferson County Crime Victims’ Coalition will host its 23rd Annual Crime Victims’ Candlelight Vigil on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 6pm at the Jefferson County Courthouse Jury Impaneling Room.
Representatives from area agencies, as well as victims of crime will be available for interviews at the vigil. Please contact Misty Craver, 409-833-3377, mcraver [at] co [dot] jefferson [dot] tx [dot] us; Cindy Fertitta, 409-351- 6020, crisiscenterofsoutheasttxinc [at] gmail [dot] com.