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25 Years of Rebuilding Lives: Celebrating the Victims of Crime Act
MADISON - The Office of Crime Victim Services in the Wisconsin Department of Justice has received funding from the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to promote community awareness of crime victims' rights and services and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the U.S. Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) during the 2009 National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
The $5,000 grant will be used to raise awareness of the rights and available services for victims of all types of crime during National Crime Victims' Rights Week. National Crime Victims' Rights Week is April 26 - May 2 this year. It was first designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. This annual observance seeks to increase public awareness of, and knowledge among crime victims and survivors about the wide range of rights and services available to people who have been victimized by crime.
"We will use this grant to increase the public's knowledge about the rights and services that are available to victims of crime in Wisconsin," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "During National Crime Victims Rights Week members of our staff will participate in public awareness and education events around the state."
Van Hollen also issued an invitation to the annual Attorney General's Crime Victims Rights Week ceremony, which will be held at the State Capitol on April 27, 2009, from 12:00 until 12:30. It is co-sponsored by the Office of Crime Victim Services and the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council. In addition to remarks by the Attorney General, the ceremony will feature youth who have survived the impact of violence on their lives.
"The ceremony is held as a tribute to the courage of victims and an opportunity to recommit ourselves to protecting the rights and the services to which victims of crime are entitled in Wisconsin," said Van Hollen.
The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) was enacted in 1984 to provide financial support for state crime victim compensation and victim assistance programs. The Act created the Crime Victims Fund through which more than $9 billion has been collected from federal criminal fines and other penalties, instead of taxpayer dollars, to support victim services.
"Through the VOCA program, the responsibility for paying for victim services is where it belongs with the criminals, not the taxpayers," said Van Hollen. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice provides grants with this money to support public and non-profit organizations that assist tens of thousands of victims in Wisconsin every year."
For additional information about 2009 National Crime Victims' Rights Week activities or about victims' rights and services in Wisconsin, please contact the Office of Crime Victim Services at (608) 264-9497 or toll free at (800) 446-6564.