Every April, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). This year, the week took place on April 19 – 25th. We have been very busy providing services to protect our community from COVID-19, but we did not want this important week to pass without supporting and acknowledging those who have been negatively and directly impacted by crime.
Every year, millions of Americans are affected by crime. Many will need ongoing care and resources. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a time to celebrate the progress achieved, raise awareness of victims’ rights and services, and stand with our families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues whose lives have been forever altered by crime. We resolve to reach out, listen, and support them as they press forward on a path to recovery. We commit to making our services more accessible and to building partnerships across the community so that we can continue to seek justice, ensure victims’ rights, and inspire hope for crime victims. Call 855–4–VICTIM or visit VictimConnect.org to learn about victims’ rights and options. You can also access resources for victims of crime in Alabama, which are listed at the end of this article.
Although NCVRW is commemorated once a year, we at Alabama Bio-Clean support their core principles and goals every single day:
- The rights of crime victims are best protected when all participants in the criminal justice process—not only victims—are appropriately educated about victims’ rights.
- Supporting victims of crime is crucial to the U.S. justice system because our support honors the experiences of victims and allows them to find autonomy and empowerment through achieving self-defined goals.
- Victims must be able to access the justice, assistance, and support they need to rebuild their lives.
- Advocacy by and for victims of crime is itself a form of seeking justice, no less than justice sought in the courts.
- The accomplishments of the victims’ rights movement—achieved through compassion and collaboration, and built on the courageous advocacy of individual victims and their families across the country—inspire hope for future progress and greater healing.
- Victims deserve support, recovery, and justice, as well as a sense of hope for their future.
- National Crime Victims’ Rights Week provides an opportunity to recommit to ensuring that accessible, appropriate, and trauma-informed services are offered to all victims of crime.
Justice consists not in being neutral between right and– Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)
wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it,
wherever found, against the wrong.
The OVC leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of NCVRW by promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme — Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope — recognizes the individuals and groups whose advocacy has propelled the victims’ rights movement forward for the past half-century, inspiring in victims and their loved ones a feeling of hope for progress, justice, and healing.
Resources in Alabama for Victims of Crime
The Attorney General’s Office of Victim Assistance (AGOVA) provides direct victim assistance and referrals for victims through its toll-free hotline, 1.800.626.7676 or click here for more information.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office offers assistance to victims and their families before and after an offender is sentenced. Additionally, the staff can help individuals better understand the judicial process and advocate for their rights. For more information, visit ago.alabama.gov or call 1-800-626-7676.
- The Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission was established in 1984 to assist innocent victims of violent crime and reimburse them for some direct, out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the crime. For more information, visit www.acvcc.state.al.us or call 800-541-9388.
Victim Service Organizations
- Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Alabama Coalition Against Sexual Violence
- Alabama Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
- Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL)
Just as despair can come to one only from other human– Elie Wiesel (1928–2016)
beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other