U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

OJP Observes National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 22-28, 2007

Regina B. Schofield, April 2007

As we observe the 27th Annual National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, our hearts go out to the families of those killed and injured at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. We share their loss and their pain. Fortunately, we live in an America where love and sympathy extend beyond idle emotion, and take the form of kindness, support, and a comforting hand. We are working with law enforcement, victims’ advocates, and others in the Blacksburg area and across the country to provide services to those affected by the tragedy at the university on April 16.

Although we take just one week to bring the public’s attention to crime victims, recent events are an unfortunate reminder that violent crime and its impact on individuals and communities is an important issue every day of the year.

We will remember and honor the victims in Blacksburg and all those who have suffered losses because of violence when we gather in Washington, DC, for our National Observance and Candlelight Ceremony on April 19. Our guest speaker at the Candlelight Ceremony will be Mark Lunsford, whose young daughter Jessica was murdered in 2005, and who since has become a staunch advocate for protecting children. On April 20, we will present awards to recognize the courage, generosity, and compassion of crime victims and advocates around the nation. We also will be supporting events around the nation to recognize victims’ rights.

We all are saddened by the magnitude of the tragedy in Blacksburg and, yet, we remain hopeful that the programs we support will help make our communities safer and, when necessary, our efforts will bring comfort to the victims who need our assistance.

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