It’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week!

April 29, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

Every year at the end of April, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) hosts the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The week-long event aims to recognize the efforts of professionals and volunteers who help support victims of crime all across the U.S. It is also important to ensure that all information regarding hate crimes or other trauma-related events are readily accessible to victims in need.

There are various forms of violent crimes, which can range from assault, battery, or even homicide. These are all very serious charges in the state of Florida, which you can read about more in our blog post here. Just as important as it is to defend those who are wrongfully accused of a violent crime, it is extremely important to protect those who have witnessed or have been a victim of a violent hate crime. The week-long event is meant to honor those who have been victims.

Based on a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, hate crimes have surged to their highest levels in the last two decades. In 2020, the FBI noted the following:

  • More than 60% of crimes were motivated by race, ethnicity, and ancestry.
  • Hate crimes against individuals of Asian descent have increased by 77% since 2019.
  • More than 30% of hate crimes were motivated by the gender identity of the victims.
  • Churches and other places of religious worship are increasingly targeted by hate crimes.

This year the event will take place from April 24-30th, and the theme is “Rights, access, equity, for all victims.” The specific theme is supposed to show the importance of finding justice for victims by:

  • Enforcing victims’ rights
  • Expanding access to services
  • Ensuring equity and inclusion

On the event’s page, you can find a video on this year’s theme, along with an informative Resource Guide with tools and materials for outreach and other public awareness campaigns.

Response from U.S. Department of Justice

Kristina Rose, the Director of the Office for Victims of Crime published a letter along with the 2022 Resource Guide. In the letter, Rose highlighted that the week provides the opportunity to honor the perseverance, innovation, and unyielding commitment of the service providers as well as the strength of the crime victims across the United States.

Rose stated the following regarding this year’s theme:

“Rights, access, equity, for all victims—underscores the importance of enforcing victims’ rights, expanding access to services, and ensuring equity and inclusion for all. By enforcing victims’ rights, victim service providers and other allied professionals promote a fair and balanced justice system that encourages respect, dignity, and meaningful participation among those most directly impacted by crime. By ensuring that equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive services and meaningful compensation are available to survivors, we can help all victims find the justice they seek.” 

In addition, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland gave the following comment after a hate crime occurred in Georgia: “No one in this country should have to fear the threat of hate-fueled violence. No one should fear being attacked or threatened because of what they look like, where they are from, whom they love, or how they worship.”

Resources for Victims of Crime in Florida

Florida’s Office for Victims of Crime –  Florida’s specific page for victims of crime, with helpful resource centers and ongoing events.

Victim Witness Assistance – The southern district of Florida’s program aimed to enhance and protect the witnesses and victims of crime within the Federal criminal process.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

It is always crucial for victims to receive the justice that they deserve when it comes to a violent crime. However, there are cases in which an individual may have been falsely accused of a violent crime. If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime, it is imperative that you immediately seek out the help of a skilled defense attorney.

Along with expensive fines and potential jail time, a conviction for a violent crime can lead to long-lasting consequences like the social stigma of being a violent person. At Pumphrey Law Firm, Don Pumphrey and his legal team understand the importance of defending a person’s reputation and future. They will work extensively to clear your name and fight for your future. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today and receive a free consultation regarding your case.

Written by Karissa Key

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