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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

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April 2019

Victim Services Division staff honors National Crime Victims’ Rights Week at Bexar County event

Every April, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week commemoration events are held in communities all around the nation. This year, representatives from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Victim Services Division attended the Bexar County ceremony to participate in a memorial wreath laying ceremony in honor of those who have diligently and tirelessly worked to advance victims' rights and overcome the effects of violent crime.

At the Bexar County commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April, Victim Services Division staff member Lisa Leitch helps place a memorial wreath honoring both crime victims and those who work to promote victims' rights.

The Bexar County event opened with a flag presentation ceremony, which was followed by a candle lighting ceremony and the release of a small flock of peace doves by crime victims and representatives from law enforcement and criminal justice groups. A moment of silence preceded a 21-Motorcycle salute from the Bikers Against Child Abuse and the San Antonio Chapter of the Guardians of the Children. County Judge Nelson Wolff thanked attendees for their work and read a proclamation in support of Crime Victims’ Week.

The keynote address was given by Bexar County District Attorney Joe D. Gonzales, who explained how historic victims’ rights legislation has “propelled the movement forward, creating a community with a shared hope for change, healing, resilience and the right to be heard and treated with dignity.” Gonzales also spoke of the importance of emerging victim support initiatives and concluded: “As we celebrate the progress made by those of us before us, we look to a future of crime victim services that is inclusive, accessible and trauma-informed. We honor our past as we create hope for the future.”

President Ronald Reagan established the first Crime Victims Week in 1981. Since then, the NCVRW has grown to become an annual a weeklong event held to promote victims’ rights and honor crime victims and their advocates. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) coordinates the annual national the observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, and is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.