National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: History of a Movement
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) is April 18-24 this year. NCVRW is a week about honoring the experience of crime victims, teaching the history of the crime victim’s rights movement, and promoting laws and programs to support victims of crime. Student Victim Assistance at Georgia State University honors the work of activists in the victim’s rights movement who helped secure fundamental rights and protections for the victims of crime.
The crime victim’s rights movements began in the 1960s alongside the civil rights and feminist movements. Activists recognized the need for crime victims to have protected rights and participation in the judicial process. Some policies that came out of the crime victim’s rights movement include:
- Notification of the status of an investigation including court dates and rulings.
- Notification of offenders being released from prison.
- Sharing support services including mental health counseling and medical services.
- The right to attend court proceedings, with some exceptions when the victim is also a witness in the investigation.
- The right to restitution and compensation for additional costs due to victimization.
The crime victim’s rights movement helped victims have a voice in the judicial process and to recoup financial losses due to victimization. The movement helped establish victim assistance services across the nation both in courts and in community programs. Victims can navigate the judicial process with support thanks to the work of victims’ rights activists.
This year’s theme is Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities —emphasizing the importance of leveraging community support to help victims of crime. Follow BeWellGSU on Instagram and the #TraumaInformedGSU for more information about how we can all support National Crime Victims Week.