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National Crime Victims? Rights Week

April 26 marks the beginning of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 26 – May 2). Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) has been an opportunity for communities, victims and their loved ones, and victim-serving professionals to join together and reflect on the hard-won progress achieved in victims’ rights and services and the challenges many crime victims still face.

This year’s theme “25 Years of Rebuilding Lives: Celebrating the Victims of Crime Act” recognizes and celebrates the wide-reaching impact of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) on victims’ rights and resources. For 25 years through the Crime Victims Fund, VOCA has supported thousands of agencies and millions of victims across the nation. The Fund provides critical financial assistance to victim compensation and victim service programs, such as domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers, and it funds information and support for victims as their cases move through the courts.

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a component of the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice, has developed the 2009 NCVRW Resource Guide. The guide contains victimization statistics, special event ideas that can be adapted for communities, camera-ready art files, a 5-minute motivational DVD and customizable posters, including the NCVRW theme poster. A copy of the guide and theme poster may be ordered or accessed from OVC’s Web site:

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In 2006, 25 million crimes were committed in the United States; of these, 6 million were violent and 19 million were property crimes. (Bureau of Justice)

In 2006, child protective services found approximately 905,000 children to be victims of child abuse or neglect. (U.S. DHHS)

Fake check scams were the number one type of Internet fraud in 2007, constituting 29 percent of complaints, with an average loss of $3,311. (National Fraud Information Center)