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Terry Goddard Honors National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

(Phoenix, Ariz. - April 16, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a number of initiatives to commemorate National Crime Victims´ Rights Week, which begins Sunday, April 18.

This year’s theme - “Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect.” pays tribute to crime victims and the ideals that inspired the victims’ rights movement. The theme also recognizes the ongoing efforts of countless victim service providers, criminal justice professionals and volunteers who dedicate their lives to helping crime victims.

“Our office is committed to continuing to educate and advocate for victims of crime,” Goddard said. “Our challenge is to make sure crime victims know their rights. Every victim deserves respect, compassion and assistance to recover from the impact of a crime, as well as access to and support from the criminal justice system.”

There are many programs available for victims of crimes such as crisis intervention, counseling, safety planning and advocacy. One of the Attorney General’s key initiatives has been the creation of the Victims’ Rights Advisory Committee to guide the efforts of his Office in shaping policy and providing victims’ services.

Over this next week, the Attorney General’s Office will be hosting several events to honor victims’ and their rights:

  • Commemorative Victims’ Rights Awards - Monday, April 19, at 9:00 a.m., at Carnegie Center, 1101 West Washington, Phoenix. Arizona Attorney General Goddard will host a commemorative Victims’ Rights Week award ceremony. The event will honor those who have helped the Attorney General’s Office fight crime and serve crime victims throughout the state. Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca W. Berch and United States Attorney Dennis K. Burke will also speak at the event.
  • Bravery Project - Beginning on Sunday, April 18, the Attorney General’s Office and Arizona State University will be promoting the Bravery Project, “For Our Eyes - Community Cohesion: Bonds, Bridges, and Barriers.” Artist and founder Vickie Florschuetz helps victims break the silence by volunteering to share their accounts through a unique portrait process that tells their story. ASU Downtown Campus University Center, 411 N. Central Ave. 2nd floor, Phoenix. For more information about the Bravery Project, visit www.braveryproject.org.
  • Victims Impact Panel Forum - The Attorney General’s Office and Arizona State University will host a panel forum on Tuesday, April 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., ASU Downtown Campus, 424 N. Central, Phoenix. The event will feature Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Ryan; Dan Levey, director of the Attorney General’s Office of Victim Services; Silvia Conchos, victim specialist with the FBI; and ASU Law Professor Robert J. Kane. The panel will discuss the impact of victims’ rights on the criminal justice system, the progress of the victims’ rights movement and ways to strengthen the movement.

The Attorney General’s Office has developed partnerships with the Arizona Coalition for Victim Services, Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Valley of the Sun Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. (POMC), Arizona Child & Family Advocacy Network, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Homicide Survivors to the fight for victims rights.

“Victims’ voices are often silent and their rights are overlooked,” Goddard said. “This is a week when we acknowledge and recognize that victims exist, have voices and have rights.”

Many other events around the state will also honor Victims’ Rights Week. Attached is the Crime Victims Brief listing some of those events, along with the invitation for the Victims Impact Panel Forum on April 20.

For more information about victims’ rights, please visit our website at www.azag.gov/victims_rights/ or contact Molly Edwards at 602-542-8019.