Colorado Commemorates National Crime Victim Rights Week

(LAKEWOOD, CO - April 4, 2017) — The Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) is commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), April 2-8, 2017, to raise awareness about crime victims’ issues and rights and introduce the community to the important resources and services available.

Last year, more than 5 million individuals were a victim of a crime, according to the 2015 National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

CDPS representatives joined numerous state, local and  nonprofit agencies in a special ceremony on Monday, April 3, to commemorate 25 years of the Victim Rights Amendment in Colorado and to highlight issues surrounding victimization. The Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) of CDPS has an Office for Victims Programs that specifically works to serve and protect the rights of Victims. DCJ and the Office for Victims Programs co-sponsored the April 3 event, which was hosted by the Colorado Organization for Victim Advocates and featured speakers including Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Coni Sanders, the daughter of Dave Sanders, who lost this life in the Columbine High School shooting. DCJ Grants Coordinator Tony Tilger spoke at the event as a special guest; Tilger was instrumental in helping to drive movement to get Colorado legislature to pass the Victim Rights Amendment 25 years ago.

The local event is part of a broader, national effort led by the the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) of the U.S. Department of Justice. The OVC leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme—Strength. Resilience. Justice.—emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary responses and building the capacity of individuals, service providers, and communities to respond to crime and support the ongoing healing of victims and survivors. The theme also supports OVC’s Vision 21 Initiative to encourage research, address emerging issues, and build the capacity of victim service organizations by increasing the use of technology and training.

OVC and CDPS encourage widespread participation in the week’s events and in other victim-related observances throughout the year. The U.S. Department of Justice will host OVC’s annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC, to honor outstanding individuals and programs that serve victims of crime. For additional ideas on how to support victims of crime, visit the OVC website, www.ovc.gov