Justice Department Observes Crime Victims’ Rights Week

By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

The U.S. Department of Justice observed National Crime Victims’ Rights Week while marking the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing claimed the lives of 168 people, including 19 children, and was the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. It resulted in the creation of the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve, which is administered by Office for Victims of Crime, which provides services to hundreds of victims of mass violence and terrorism.

Joe Kelly, U.S. attorney for the District of Nebraska, said Nebraska joined the observation of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which runs April 19 to 25.

Victim advocacy organizations, community groups and governments typically hold awareness events during the week. Kelly said the Nebraska office has marked the week by co-hosted a training event for the past 20 years for victim advocates and criminal justice officials on issues related to crime victims.

“This is the first year that we have not been able to have such a conference due to the COVID-19 issues,” Kelly said in a release. “We recognize the trauma crime victims and their families have gone through and we will continue to seek justice for them through our dedicated efforts of law enforcement and prosecution.”

Some 3.3 million Americans age 12 and older were victims of violent crime in 2018, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey.

“Every year, millions of Americans suffer the shock and trauma of criminal victimization, affecting their well-being and sense of security and dignity,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a release. “To these victims, we affirm our unwavering commitment to supporting them in their hour of need. We also commend the thousands of victim advocates and public safety professionals who labor tirelessly to secure victims’ rights and support survivors.”

 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981. The Justice Department is marking its 150th anniversary this year. 

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