PHOENIX – Each year, National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) is observed by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to honor and reflect upon the important work that individuals, law enforcement, non-profits, and many other organizations across the country do to advocate for crime victims. NCVRW is April 18th - April 24th, and this year's theme, Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities., exemplifies how advocating for crime victims throughout their healing process is central to the mission of serving justice.
"Victims often face the daunting task of piecing their lives back together after being impacted by crime,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “I am proud of our committed team and compassionate community for ensuring they’re not alone and that, above all, we uphold a system of justice that remembers, respects, and protects victims of crime.”
NCVRW provides an opportunity to place an extra emphasis on victims' rights. Many in Arizona devote not just one week -- but all year -- to serving victims. Today, Attorney General Mark Brnovich was proud to present several Distinguished Service Awards to advocates who strive to make the community a better place every single day.
The following were honored this week with AGO awards:
Innovative Practices Award
Cindy Woods – Mohave County Attorney’s Office Victim Compensation Program Advocate
Service Coordination Award
Skye Steele – StreetLightUSA CEO
Melissa Brickhouse-Thomas – Glendale Family Advocacy Center Victim Assistance Unit Manager
Advocacy and Direct Service Award
Child Crisis Arizona
The AGO Office of Victim Services advocacy program provides over 130,000 direct services to nearly 12,000 victims yearly. Last fiscal year, the AGO also distributed $2.8 million to 56 criminal justice agencies as they fulfilled their duties to protect victims’ rights. And earlier this year, the AGO awarded $600,000 in grants to 20 Arizona Child and Family Advocacy Centers, which provide programs and coordinate critical services for victims of family violence and sexual assault.
Additionally, the AGO filed an amicus brief in February to protect victims’ privacy in a murder case under review at the Arizona Supreme Court. The brief argues that crime victims have a constitutional right to keep their personal information, such as medical records, private from defendants under the Victims' Bill of Rights, which was approved by Arizona voters in 1990. Read brief here.
To learn more about your rights as a crime victim, CLICK HERE.
For more information on the Office of Victim Services, CLICK HERE.