For Immediate Release
Reno, Nevada. April 19, 2013. Victims, survivors, families, advocates and other members of the criminal justice system will join concerned Washoe County citizens to mark National Crime Victims’ Rights Week during the week of April 21 by honoring and remembering those whose lives have been affected by criminal violence.
A candlelight vigil and awards ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Mills B. Lane Justice Center in downtown Reno. This year’s theme is “New Challenges, New Solutions.” The ceremony will publicly recognize those who continue to devote their lives to help find healing and justice.
Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick and the Victim Witness Assistance Center will both be recognized as award recipients.
“Our daily reward is to see what all of us together are able to accomplish for the victims and children of our community,” said Gammick. “I never expected such recognition for this and it means a lot coming from AVR and all of the people who donate so much to those in need.”
The Alliance for Victims Rights (AVR) also awarded Dr. Ellen Clark and the Washoe County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office as Outstanding Government Agency, Amber Myers with the Social Services Department as Outstanding Advocate, Essence of Advocacy Award and Dr. Catherine Wagoner as Outstanding Member of Criminal Justice System, Zeal Award. All the nominees and award winners will be acknowledged at the event.
The efforts of crime victims and their families have not gone unnoticed. Since the 1980s, every state in America has enacted laws that protect victims’ rights and have established victim compensation funds. More than 10,000 victim service agencies have been set up across the country. Federal programs administered by the U.S. Department of Justice support victims of crimes and offer services to those who are underserved.
“Society is slowly changing its views, thanks to victims and their families who have organized to confront these challenges and promote compassionate and respectful responses to victims of crime,” added Olsen. “Annual events like these remind us that we must stand together to offer help and support and advance the rights of victims everywhere, every day of every year.”
Bringing honor and respect to victims is more than a theme; it is a way of life for agencies and individuals working to provide support for victims of crime.
The AVR is dedicated to encouraging and supporting the development and coordination of victim services throughout Northern Nevada. Established in 2006, the group provides information and training tools to the community, strengthens relationships between agencies that offer help and support to victims of crime. Visit AVR’s website at www.allianceforvictimsrights.com. For more ideas on how to volunteer, visit the Office for Victims of Crime website at www.crimevictims.gov.