This year National Crime Victims Week April 7 -13 theme is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”
What does this mean to our community of Salisbury, NC? This means we will begin to acknowledge the journey and courage of crime victims and survivors and begin to celebrate on their behalf as a community at large. We will begin to celebrate progress made by those who are before us as we look to a brighter future of crime victim’s services. We will be more inclusive and accessible to helping the needs of families in crisis.
In 1982, The Federal Victim and Witness Protection Act had brought fair treatment standards to victims and witnesses in the federal criminal justice system. In addition California voters approved and passed Proposition 8, which had guarantees restitution and other statutory reforms to crime victims.
In 1986, The Office for Victims of Crime awards the first grants to support state victim compensation and assistance programs. Two years later, the Victim Services programs were established which is known today as the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS).
Today, we can look at hope with a brighter future knowingly a victim has rights;
• A crime victim has the right to be treated with dignity, fairness, respect and privacy.
• A crime victim has the right to be protected from the accused offender
• A crime victim has the right to be notified of court proceedings and events in the criminal justice process, including release or escape of the offender
• A crime victim has the right to be protected from intimidation and harassment
• A crime victim has the right to restitution form the offender
• A crime victim has the right for crime victim compensation
In the words of President William Jefferson Clinton, Remarks at Announcement of Victim’s Rights Constitutional Amendment, June 26, 1996.
“When someone is a victim, he or she should be at the center of the criminal justice process, not on the outside looking in. Participation in all forms of government is the essence of democracy. Victims should be guaranteed the right to participate in proceedings related to crimes committed against them. People accused of crimes have explicit constitutional rights. Ordinary citizens have a constitutional right to participate in criminal trials by serving on a jury. The press has a constitutional right to attend trials. All of this is as it should be. It is only the victims of crime who have no constitutional right to participate, and that is not the way it should be.”
A message from Alberta McLaughlin, DMin., Victim/Witness Advocate, Salisbury Police Department:
"As your Victim/Witness Advocate of the Salisbury Police Department, Salisbury, NC, I am looking forward to creating a support group to the survivors of crime. A safe environment to share your pain, your stories, and your unspoken and lost words. An all-inclusive holistic environment that will permit survivors who are further along in their healing to give hope to those whose are newly in bereavement.
I look forward to walking with you along your journey and sitting in the midst of your pain, letting you know you are not alone. I stand with you!"
Alberta McLaughlin, DMin.
Victim/Witness Advocate,Salisbury Police Department
City of Salisbury, 130 E. Liberty Street, Salisbury, NC 28144
Desk Phone: 704-638-5337 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org