Making changes in national law to protect victim/survivors of domestic violence!

CALL TO ACTION

Needing to Sign the VAWA Petition — Goal 1,000,000 signers!!


Disappointing Outcome — Yesterday’s Congressional Embarrasments Explained

Yesterday’s Congressional Embarrassments, Explained

By: David Dayen Thursday May 17, 2012 12:40 pm

US Capitol (photo by Truthout.org/flickr)

Let’s recap one of the more pathetic days in a pathetic Congressional session.

In the House, voting concluded on the GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act, a real marker into the rightward shift of that party. On previous occasions with GOP control of Congress, VAWA was reauthorized without incident. This time around, however, while the Senate passed a reauthorization with bipartisan support, 31 Republicans still voted against it. And in the House, the Republicans deleted key measures that would weaken the status quo of the law, eliminating protections for Native Americans, LGBT couples and undocumented immigrants. This drew a veto threat from the White House, and enough negative criticism that the House GOP, with a “manager’s amendment,” pretended to “fix” the bill. The revealing data point here is that hundreds of women’s groups objected to the House version of the bill, but a misogynistic group called the National Coalition for Men endorsed it. Even Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski wrote to House Republicans to implore them to just pass the Senate version of the bill, to no avail.

The bill narrowly passed, with 22 Republicans opposing it. Unbelievably, six Democrats voted for the bill, some to avoid the stigma of “voting against the Violence Against Women Act,” I presume. (Nevada Senate hopeful Shelley Berkley was one of them; the others were ConservaDems John Barrow, David Boren, Jim Matheson, Mike McIntyre and Collin Peterson.)

Over in the Senate, the entire day was taken up by a series of votes on budget measures, none of which had any chance of passing. The Democratic position is that last year’s debt limit deal effectively locked in place the spending targets you would see in a budget resolution, meaning there’s no need to pass one right now. But Republicans forced the issue to embarrass the opposition. And while they succeeded in getting a 0-99 vote for what they called the “President’s budget,” Republicans also voted in large majorities on two occasions for budgets by Paul Ryan and Pat Toomey, which not only end Medicare as we know it and make a number of other unpopular cuts to social programs, but which also allow student loan interest rates to double, after Senate Republicans said specifically they wanted to avoid that outcome.

The budget votes were largely a Republican effort to embarrass President Obama and Democrats for failing to coalesce around a long-term fiscal vision. But it also presented an opportunity for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) to needle the GOP on a contradiction.

“Does this budget permit the interest rates on student loans to double on July 1?” Harkin asked of the Ryan budget, which has already passed the House.

“It does,” Conrad replied.

“Thank you, senator,” Harkin said.

So there you have it; ideological crusades, unproductive vote-a-ramas, massive contradictions – there’s your 2011-2012 Congress.

Today should be a bit better; the Senate will probably confirm two nominees to vacancies at the Federal Reserve after having rejected other nominees for these positions previously.

via Firedoglake.

via Firedoglake.

via Firedoglake.


House Passes VAWA with Weakened Tribal Provisions; NCAI Voices Serious Concerns Regarding HR4970

This is so very disappointing…….

House Passes VAWA with Weakened Tribal Provisions; NCAI Voices Serious Concerns Regarding HR�4970

NCAI Calls for House and Senate to Restore Bi-Partisan Tribal Provisions of S.1925

Washington, DC (May 16, 2012) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted and passed a version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization – HR 4970 – without any of the key tribal jurisdictional provisions intact. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has serious concerns about the alternative provisions contained in the House bill and is calling on the House and Senate to restore the bipartisan and constitutionally sound tribal provisions in the Senate version of the bill, S.1925, that create local solutions to the epidemic of domestic violence experienced by Native women.

“Native women aren’t safer as a result of the passage of HR 4970. In fact, the tribal provisions included in this bill create additional hurdles for Indian women seeking protection from violence on tribal lands, and that is unacceptable,” said Juana Majel-Dixon, 1st Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and co-chair of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women. “Indian Country supports the bipartisan Senate VAWA bill, which contains constitutionally sound tribal provisions that provide local solutions that will deliver long-overdue justice to Native women and safety to tribal communities.”

Passed by a vote of 222-205, the tribal provisions included in HR 4970 would be a step backward in contrast to the bipartisan Senate VAWA bill, supported by NCAI and tribes across the country. Over the past few days, H.R. 4970 has been amended to include provisions that have the potential to cause great confusion surrounding tribes’ authority to issue civil protection orders and that could further endanger Native victims.

HR 4970 would “federalize” the issuance and enforcement of protection orders for Native victims, authorizing Indian victims of domestic violence or Indian tribes on behalf of Indian victims to seek protection orders from U.S. district courts against suspects of abuse. This approach fails to address the crux of the problem – a lack of local authority to handle misdemeanor level domestic and dating violence when the perpetrator is non-Indian. The legislation passed by the House is drafted in a way that undermines the safety and autonomy of victims.

On the other hand, S.1925 contains key tribal provisions that would empower the governmental authorities closest to the alleged criminal activity-tribal police and courts-to intervene early in acts of domestic violence committed by non-Indians within the tribe’s territory, before the violence escalates to the point of serious assault or homicide. These provisions are limited in scope, do not infringe on existing federal or state court jurisdiction, and defendants who stand trial before a tribal court would have the full panoply of constitutional rights.

via House Passes VAWA with Weakened Tribal Provisions; NCAI Voices Serious Concerns Regarding HR 4970 | Tribal Law Updates.

via House Passes VAWA with Weakened Tribal Provisions; NCAI Voices Serious Concerns Regarding HR 4970 | Tribal Law Updates.


NOW Supports Vote Against revised version of VAWA in the U.S. House and has another Call to Action

Spread the word »

Tell Your Representative to Vote
Against H.R. 4970, the Adams VAWA Bill

May 15, 2012

TAKE ACTION: The House of Representatives is expected to vote on Wednesday, May 16, for the Republican version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4970), which not only eliminates important provisions included in the Senate-passed bipartisan bill (68-31, S. 1925), but contains new ones that would actually be dangerous to survivors of domestic violence while shielding abusers from accountability. The Republican leadership will not allow any floor amendments.

PLEASE CALL NOW – Call your House member as soon as possible to oppose H.R. 4970 (known as the Adams bill) and to urge that there be an open debate on the House floor with amendments permitted. NOW opposes H.R. 4970, and unless it can be amended to restore important protections, NOW will consider a vote for the bill to be a vote against VAWA and against victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-224-3121      end_of_the_skype_highlighting , and ask for your representative’s office. Or, you can look up the name and phone number of your representative right on NOW’s website.

BACKGROUND:

Adams Bill is Racially Exclusionary and Puts Survivors at Risk – The House Judiciary Committee recently reported out a bill, sponsored by Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), that rolls back protections for victims of violence and fails to include provisions included in the bipartisan Senate bill that would help Native American women, immigrant women, LGBT persons and college students. A much better bill (H.R. 4271) has been introduced by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), but conservative leaders are not allowing this version to be offered for a vote. Additionally, no improvements to the Adams bill can be made if floor amendments are not permitted prior to the vote.

Your House Target List – More information on the “real VAWA” can be found on the website of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, including fact sheets, a toolkit, summaries of the legislation and other useful materials. Calling your House member (instead of sending an email) is critically important, as the vote is set to occur on Wednesday, May 16. Activists in the following states, especially, should contact their House member: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

New York Times Editorial: Backward on Domestic Violence, May 14

MESSAGE:

Here’s some suggested language for the call to your House member:

Vote Against H.R. 4970 – As a supporter of the National Organization for Women, I urge you to vote AGAINST, H.R. 4970, the Adams bill, which does not contain needed protections for victims of violence that I believe are critically important. I agree with NOW that a vote for the Adams bill is a vote against the Violence Against Women Act. I support a bill like the bipartisan Senate bill that protects Native American women, immigrant women, and LGBT violence survivors. The Adams bill allows no opportunity for a discussion of humane alternatives that treat victims with respect and decency. There is support in the House for a reauthorization of VAWA that more closely resembles the Senate-passed bill (H.R. 1925), and members should have a chance to weigh the merits of alternatives to the Adams bill before they vote for final passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.

Puts Victims in Grave Danger – The Adams bill completely undermines the spirit of the landmark bill passed 18 years ago. NOW is “scoring” this vote, meaning that we consider a vote for the Adams bill to be a vote against VAWA.

If your representative (or the staff member to whom you are speaking) indicates that she/he will vote against the Adams bill, please thank them, and encourage them to persuade other House members to do the same.

If your representative indicates that she/he intends to vote for the Adams bill, you may want to use these talking points:

» I strongly urge you not to support a bill that imposes cruel new reporting restrictions on immigrant survivors of violence — eliminating confidentiality, putting victims in grave danger and shielding abusers from accountability.

» Please do not abandon victims because of their racial and legal status.

» This second-class treatment of women of color smacks of willful ignorance of the problem and hostility toward the victims.

» I cannot support and vote for someone who claims to support ending violence against women but votes for a bill that is exclusionary and ignores the biases and disrespect that certain victims face when seeking help from the criminal justice system and access to life-saving services.

Call House Leaders – Finally, if you can, call the House leadership to tell them that you think H.R. 4970 harms victims and is not the real VAWA. Tell them that victims of violence deserve an open debate on the House floor, with amendments permitted. Call Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) at 202-225-0600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-225-0600      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (leadership office) or 202-225-6205 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-225-6205      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (personal office), and call Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) at 202-225-4000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-225-4000      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R. Calif.) at 202-225-2915 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-225-2915      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Thanks for all you do for NOW.

http://action.now.org/o/5996/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=116431


Call to Action for Human Trafficking — S 1301

Allies exists to be a network and platform for activism that sustains community involvement in the anti-trafficking movement.

WE NEED YOU TO ADVOCATE for the TVPRA

Background:
TVPRA – The Trafficking Victims Protection Reathorization Act, enacted in 2000, expired Sept 30, 2011. Both the Senate & House have let this important legislation in the fight against modern-day slavery lapse. The House bill is mired in partisan politics, but the Senate bill, S.1301, now has 42 co-sponsors. If we can obtain 50 co-sponsors (only 8 more to go) then it could easily pass a Senate floor vote. Read more about the HISTORY and CURRENT STATUS of the TVPRA (s. 1301).

Below are some of the provisions included in S. 1301 that would better protect victims:
Create programs to help foreign governments investigate labor recruitment centers where trafficking victims may be recruited;
Encourage the distribution and posting of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number within federal agencies as well as by states;
Create programs to assist minor victims of sex trafficking through grant programs to states; and
Prohibit the provision of peacekeeping operation funds to countries that use child soldiers.
It is of the utmost importance that this bill gets passed to maintain the standards established in 2000!

Calls are the best way to contact Senator Cornyn and Senator Hutchison! You can call more than once, and every call or voicemail is logged.

Call Script:
“Hello, My name is ________ and I am calling from _______[zip code]. I would like to ask Senator Cornyn / Senator Hutchison to co-sponsor the TVPRA (S.1301).

Do you know the Senator’s position on human trafficking? I would like someone from your office to follow up with me with the Senator’s response. I can be reached at __________ or via e-mail at _________. Thank you.”

Here is how you contact them:
Senator John Cornyn: Austin- 512-469-6034 or Washington DC 202-224-2934
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: Austin- 512-916-5834 or Washington DC 202-224-5922

Leaving a message is effective since all calls are logged by issue and recapped daily to the Senator. If the Senator’s DC voice mailbox is full, please call the local office phone number.


HR 4970 FACT SHEET *****

HR 4970 includes dangerous provisions for many victims, omits crucial protections for others and generally weakens the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) HR4970’s Audit requirements are excessive, burdensome and costly and divert limited grant funding from direct services to bureaucracy

 Since enactment, VAWA has included important reporting and oversight provisions both for grantees and for the Department of Justice (DOJ).

 HR 4970 erodes, rather than enhances, effective oversight. HR 4970:

o Inhibits effective accounting practices by redirecting energy from good
accounting industry standards for small non-profit organizations to “make work”
efforts which serve only to grow government and handicap victim services.

o Fails to include the provision of pre-emptive technical assistance and training to
small—especially rural—non-profit organizations and instead imposes punitive,
resource diverting mandates on local programs.

 In separate letters addressed to Representative Poe and Senator Leahy, DOJ has reported that “VAWA grants are being used effectively for their intended purpose,” that “grant management and grantee recordkeeping are generally sound,” and that when auditing problems arise, they are “not about waste, fraud or abuse, but rather about inadequate accounting and insufficient documentation” and are quickly resolved.

 In order to effectively serve victims, the resources required to implement this substantial new audit requirement would be better spent on technical assistance and financial training for the hundreds of small police departments, courts, and non-profits who are OVW grantees. Erodes important provisions for immigrant victims’ safety and gives abusers additional
tools with which to harm victims.

 Amendments allowing the alleged abuser access to the self-petition process create a
chilling effect on victims’ help-seeking. Abusers who could have adjusted the status of their spouse and chose not to as a tool of abuse and fear will be in a position to block the victim’s access to this critical remedy for battered immigrants. Informing and allowing alleged abusers to provide input in these cases puts victims at significant risk of retaliation. Abusers frequently deny the abuse and falsely accuse victims of fraud or abuse. HR 4970 allows abusers to contact ICE to try to stop their spouse from getting legal status.

 Shifting the self-petition process to local offices is duplicative, expensive, and does not address concerns about fraud. Adding an additional interview requirement is unnecessary, would be very costly and would require extensive training on domestic violence and sexual assault at USCIS offices across the country. Currently, the specialized USCIS center that adjudicates these applications is trained to weigh the evidence and ferret out fraud and can request additional evidence if necessary. Additionally, self-petition applicants have to attend an interview at their local offices to adjust their status to lawful permanent residence. The double interview requirement places an extra hurdle for victims of abuse not required for other applicants for status.2

 Adding an interview process to VAWA cancellation of removal hearings to local offices is duplicative and expensive. In VAWA cancellation of removal cases, the petitioner appears at hearings with an immigration judge, so a separate interview places an unnecessary burden. Adding an interview process to VAWA cancellation hearings will slow immigration court cases down immensely, bogging down the court calendar further. Limits the U visa program, barring the use of unused visas, and will endanger victims who work with law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice.

 Victims of crime should be able to work with law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice.

 Limiting the U-visa certification process will discourage victims from coming forward and cooperating with law enforcement. Yet law enforcement tells us that failing to report crimes like these only exacerbates their negative impact on the community. Considering that many who commit U-visa crimes are serial perpetrators, law enforcement wants victims to come forward regardless of whether there is an active investigation or prosecution has begun.

 Restrictive certification requirements discourage cooperation with law enforcement.
Victims who were hurt even long ago can provide useful information in holding serial
perpetrators accountable. This is true for citizen victims as well as immigrant victims. Undermines the potential of lifesaving housing protections in VAWA

 Emergency transfers:

o One of the most pressing needs identified by victims and their advocates is the
ability to relocate/transfer to a safe home to escape violence.

o The housing emergency relocation and transfer section in VAWA should (as it
does in the Senate passed S.1925) require that owners, managers and public
housing agencies (PHAs) adopt the transfer plan developed by federal agencies.

o HR 4970 makes the adoption of such a plan voluntary by owners, managers and
PHAs, essentially undermining the remaining components of this potentially
lifesaving provision.

 Notice of rights:

o The housing rights codified by VAWA protect victims of domestic violence,
dating violence, sexual assault and stalking from eviction or denial of benefit
based on their status as victims and/or the actions of their perpetrators.

o In order to enjoy these rights and avoid unlawful eviction, notice of VAWA rights
should be distributed at key times, specifically at eviction. Without adequate
notice, victims will never know they have the right not to be evicted based on the
actions of their perpetrators or as a result of violence/assault.

o By giving notice at eviction, owners, managers and PHAs can help victims come
forward and avoid costly, contentious and unnecessary eviction proceedings.

o HR 4970 does not require notice at eviction, unlike the Senate passed S. 1925
Fails to include key provisions needed to help reduce violence against young women.
Provisions omitted would have to:

 Require institutions to include in their annual campus crime reports statistics on
domestic violence, dating violence and stalking (sexual assault is already in the Clery 3 Act) reported on campus and would have to provide clear statements regarding the procedures followed when a case of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking is reported.

 Require institutions to give victims a written explanation of their rights any time they report being a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, including:

o victim’s right to notify (or not notify) law enforcement if they choose e to do so;

o obligation of institution to help the victim report the incident to law enforcement
and seek a protective order from a local court;

o victim’s options regarding changing academic, living, transportation and working
situations, if the victim so requests and such accommodations are reasonably
available

 Required institutions to establish clear, prompt and equitable procedures for on-campus disciplinary action in cases of alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking

 Given both the victim and the accused with the right to have another person present at disciplinary proceedings

 Provided prevention programs teaching all students, male and female, how to help
prevent sexual violence and dating violence, including bystander education.


ACTION ALERT * VAWA

***ACTION ALERT***

Crew –

I realize I usually send you information regarding the Texas legislative process and so you may be surprised to see an email and an action alert from me especially because the Texas legislature will not be in session until January 2013. This email relates to important efforts TCFV and our partners have taken on at the federal level.

For the past year, Congress has been working on the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA is a coordinated civil and criminal legal and direct services approach that has worked for over almost two decades. In 2011 alone, Texas received $8.8 million in grants that help communities all over the state take violence against women seriously. I myself served as a VAWA-funded prosecutor and so saw the direct impact to our efforts at keeping vicitms safe and holding offenders accountable.

Bottom line: VAWA represents the federal government’s robust, comprehensive and successful approach to addressing intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The Congressional authorization of VAWA must be renewed from time to time and in fact the authorization for the past cycle expired almost two years ago. TCFV has been participating and monitoring the progress of Reauthorization, including getting into the details of the various bills and offering direct feedback to national partners and the Texas elected delegation. Whereas in the previous two cycles of VAWA Reauthorization the bill drew no opposition, this time around Congress has not come to consensus as easily.

The good news is that the Senate has already passed S.1925; this bill represents the most thoroughly vetted and bipartisan approach to Reauthorization. TCFV supports S.1925 and asks that you do so as well. If you would like to appraise the bill yourself, you can find the full text at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s1925. The bill passed the Senate by a margin on 68-31.

The House has also taken up the measure with its HR 4970. Although the House version contains significant components of S.1925, it also omits and incorporates different provisions that will harm victims and their service provision. Among several areas of concern are the significant erosion of protection for immigrant victims of violence and the increase of bureaucracy and resulting expense that would come from direct victim services funding. If you are interested, here is the entire bill –http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20120514/BILLS-112-HR4970RH.pdf.

Two important steps in the process most likely will occur this week. First, the powerful House Rules Committee will determine this Tuesday how the debate will occur when the overall House votes on the bill. The Rules Committee will decide whether members will be allowed to offer changes to the bill and even whether debate on the bill can occur on the House floor. TCFV calls for the inclusion of amendments that protect vulnerable immigrant victims and others, a debate of the bill on the House floor and allowing the introduction of amendments during the debate.

Second, the bill will go to the full House for a vote. In preparation for that vote, TCFV calls on Texas House members to support changes to HR4970 that conform with S.1925 to the greatest extent possible.

In service of these goals, TCFV continues to work with our Congressional partners to offer solutions regarding the provisions. This is where you can help.

We have drafted the attached letter that you can use to communicate your support for S.1925 and the needed changes to HR 4970; Texas family violence programs, their boards and community partners will be particularly impactful, but contacts from others will also help. Because time is of the essence, we ask that you make contact today and do so by email rather than a traditional letter. TCFV makes careful and strategic decisions about how often and in what manner to call on programs and supporters to make this kind of outreach. We ask for you to do so because we judge this stage and this approach to be key in the VAWA Reauthorization process.

Do you know who represents you in Congress? Find out at http://www.house.gov/representatives/.

In addition to your elected members, also consider including:
-Chairman Lamar Smith, who leads the Judiciary Committee (http://lamarsmith.house.gov/)
-Congressman Pete Sessions, who serves on the Rules Committee (http://sessions.house.gov/)

I have also attached a fact sheet which highlights some key areas of HR 4970 that we ask the House to change.

After the House completes it work on VAWA Reauthorization, the Senate and the House would then need to convene a Conference Committee comprised of Senate and House members to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill. Following that conference committee work, the resulting bill would then return to both chambers for their ratification. These will also be important steps and as such TCFV will communicate with you in a strategic manner and at strategic points along the way.

Questions? I am happy to speak with you on VAWA or any topic. See below for my card with my cell number.

Cheers –

Aaron


Call to Action for April 30th – Funds for domestic violence program

Received in my emails today.  Reposted for your information and help too: 

 

 

Action Alert: Victims of Domestic Violence Need Your Help Now!

 

Hi all,

 

DC is heading into the most important days of its budget deliberations and we need your help to make sure there's enough money to help victims of domestic violence in the budget!

 

The Mayor's FY13 Budget Proposal does not include enough money for the Office of Victim Services (OVS) to be able to fund vital victim services including emergency shelter, legal services, counseling, and crisis intervention services.  

 

  • To simply maintain the existing level of services, an additional $2.1 million is needed.  But that only preserves the status quo, which includes harmful cuts to domestic violence shelters and other supportive services.  
  • To reverse these previous cuts, OVS needs an additional $2.6 million, money that is included in the Mayor's budget "wish list" should the City see additional revenue later in the year.  

 

Please take action to help us get the DC Council to give OVS the money they need to be able to help all victims!

 

Call Councilmember Mendelson (            202.724.8064      ) & Chairman Brown (            202.724.8032      ) on Monday, April 30th at 11am and tell them: 

 

"Please appropriate an additional $2.1 million to the Office of Victim Services to provide lifesaving services for victims of domestic violence.  Please also keep $2.6 million for OVS in 5th place on the Mayor's budget wish list - this will help us reverse harmful cuts made to victim services over the last few years."

 


 
Stay Tuned -Victims Will Need Your Help Again Next Tuesday & Wednesday!

Please watch this space for additional action alerts to come early next week.  We need to flood the Council's office with phone calls, emails and tweets to make sure our voices are heard!

Thanks for taking action to ensure all victims have access to needed lifesaving services!

Sincerely,

The Policy Department

(more…)


Redbook is Seeking Survivor Stories!

A Message from NRCDV:

Redbook Magazine has reached out to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) and other allied national organizations for support in the development of an online video support/awareness campaign featuring the stories of domestic violence survivors. The project will share the stories of survivors of dating/domestic violence in an effort to bring visibility to the issue, help break the silence and shame, and promote collective strength among survivors. Redbook did a similar campaign last year on the topic of infertility called “The Truth About Trying” that you can view here: http://www.redbookmag.com/health-wellness/advice/infertility-video-series

Redbook has asked the NRCDV to help gather a list of survivors who may be interested in sharing their stories for this project. The process itself is simple: survivors would upload their own short videos using a set of very accessible directions. All survivors will need is an internet connection and a camera or smart phone capable of recording a video.

Interested survivors should please respond with their name, contact information, and a brief bio that provides a quick synopsis of your background and experience. This information will be forwarded to our contact at Redbook for consideration. Please reply to: Kenya Fairley at kfairley@nrcdv.org by Wednesday, April 25th.

Redbook has stressed the importance of including diverse experiences from survivors (and survivor allies!) of various age groups and backgrounds: long-term relationships, teen relationships, same-sex relationships, trans survivors, children exposed, and sisters, brothers, or parents of victims, etc.

Of course, safety is a priority. Redbook has options available for survivors requesting anonymity, for example: filming their hands or other less-identifying features. For guidance and considerations related to sharing your story, please see the NRCDV’s “From the Front of the Room: A Survivor’s Guide to Public Speaking” athttp://www.vawnet.org/summary.php?doc_id=2951&find_type=web_desc_NRCDV


Texas Insider » The Right Thing to Do: Extending the Vision & Reaching Every Victim

The Right Thing to Do: Extending the Vision & Reaching Every Victim

On National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

By Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Insider� Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Helping victims and their families recover from violent crime is the right thing to do. As the State’s chief law enforcement official, I am committed to working with state and local law enforcement to protect Texas communities and prevent crime. Robust crime victims’ assistance is critical to effective law enforcement because investigators and prosecutors rely upon victims to hold criminals accountable for their crimes.��

The Office of the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services Division (CVSD) works closely with local authorities and crime victim services organizations to ensure that Texas crime victims have the help and support they need to rebuild their lives.

By working together, the Attorney General’s Office, local authorities’ victim assistance officials and nonprofit crime victim services organizations can provide seamless support for victims. Crime victim advocates serve victims by carefully listening to their stories, offering guidance on the crime victims’ compensation process, and referring victims to the Crime Victims’ Compensation (CVC) Program. The CVC Program was created by the Texas Legislature to ensure crime victims and their families do not bear the cost of violent crimes.

Professional victim advocates who work in local law enforcement departments and district attorneys’ offices balance the needs of the victims with the requirements of the criminal justice system. Advocates at non-governmental or nonprofit agencies such as domestic violence or sexual assault crisis centers, child advocacy centers, or homicide support groups focus on crime victims’ personal needs and concerns. Both groups of advocates have policies that mandate victim safety and support, assistance with crime victims’ compensation, notification of victims’ rights, and information on the impact of crime, the criminal justice process and how to navigate the path to recovery.

Crime victim liaisons, which are legislatively mandated advocates housed in local law enforcement offices, are often the first advocates to respond to a crime victim. They set the tone with a victim or family member regarding how a victim is treated by the criminal justice system and investigative process. Crime victim liaisons also help connect victims with crime victim services organizations’ nonprofit advocates. During this initial encounter, local advocates provide hope and guidance to victims in the aftermath of a violent crime.

As victims progress out of the acute phase of a violent crime, victim advocates continue to assist them with resources and their legal rights. If a crime was reported, investigated and verified, a crime victim liaison will transition a victim to work with a victim assistance coordinator, a legislatively mandated community-based advocate in a local prosecutor’s office. The advocate will often be the bridge and the consistent source of support for a victim during this process.

Often the job includes accompanying a victim throughout their discussions with law enforcement officials and prosecutors, facilitating information gathering, securing updates on victims’ case status, and ensuring that victims and employers understand crime victims’ rights.

Community-based advocates also help victims complete their CVC application for financial assistance from the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund so that the financial burden associated with violent crime does not further traumatize victims. Texas law imposes multiple requirements that victims must satisfy to be eligible for reimbursement from the CVC Fund, so advocates are particularly helpful at this stage of the process. Professionally prepared applications are often more complete and therefore easier to process and approve – which leads to quicker reimbursements for victims.

When crime victim liaisons, victim assistance coordinators and local nonprofit agencies such as a domestic violence center or sexual assault center establish effective working relationships, victims benefit from their collaboration. Consequently, the justice process is less traumatizing and more likely to result in a thorough investigation.

This year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is appropriately named, “Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim.” It recalls the core ideal of the victims’ rights movement – justice for every victim of crime. Supporting advocates and the work they do continues to be a top priority for the Office of the Attorney General. Advocates help advance crime victims’ march down the path to recovery and serve as their voice as they navigate the criminal justice process.

via Texas Insider » The Right Thing to Do: Extending the Vision & Reaching Every Victim.

via Texas Insider » The Right Thing to Do: Extending the Vision & Reaching Every Victim.


Crime Victims Rights Week – Texas City, 2012

bout a hundred people turned out for the Texas City ceremony for National Crime Victims Week. Among those was Jennifer Schuett, who was kidnapped from her home at the age of nine, raped and had her throat slashed by her attacker 19 years ago.

A suspect was arrested in October, 2009. She encouraged those who attended to speak out and let their voices be heard and she said she hoped to inspire other crime victims to do the same.


Take Action | Crime Victims First

Our team continues to be at the forefront of crime victims’ rights education and enforcement focusing on improving the treatment of victims/survivors and compliance. We are working hard to ensure that victims/survivors are aware of their rights, are afforded their rights, and provide support with rights violations. We are also working diligently on developing remedies for victims/survivors who have substantiated rights violations. Education and enforcement are vital, but advocacy is also key to influencing change. Therefore, we are collecting data and sharing it with policy-makers, so they can make informed decisions about the treatment of victims/survivors and improve accountability.

This legislative session, the CV1 team will update legislators on our progress. Last session, we introduced legislators to the concepts of victims’ rights compliance, enforcement, rights violations, and possible solutions and models to address complaints from victims/survivors regarding rights and process violations.

CV1 will inform them that we have launched our nonprofit victims’ rights resource center and legal clinic, and that we received small foundation grants and private donations to enhance our website, services, and programs. Finally, we continue to explore partnerships and funding to support our services and programs.

1. Establish legislative approval for funding to support crime victims’ rights enforcement programs.

2. Establish legislative authority for enforcement programs.

3. Establish legislative remedies for victims/survivors whose rights are violated.

4. Clarify existing legislative language to support enforcement.

5. Develop new legislation, if needed.

IMPORTANT: Texas is a leader in drafting legislative/constitutional language that provides crime victims with standing (enforcement), remedy (voiding*), and review (standing/writs). However, until CV1 there has not been an entity to help explain or provide assistance with these legal concepts. CV1 has created a process based on a proven civil rights model. We need your support. It’s time to take action! Help us implement our Victims’ Rights Complaint Process

We are building support to ensure that victims/survivors of crime are aware of their rights, are afforded their rights, and are provided remedies when their rights are violated. By signing up, you give Crime Victims First permission to use your contact information to show decision-makers and policy-makers that there is support for victims’ rights enforcement efforts and together we are encouraging them to learn more and do more.

via Take Action | Crime Victims First.

via Take Action | Crime Victims First.


CV1 Announces Step Up Now! Learn Your Rights Campaign | Crime Victims First

Oct 5, 2011

Thank you for allowing us to introduce a new resource for victims/survivors of crime, providers, lawyers, judges, and our community called CRIME VICTIMS FIRST. Crime Victims First (CV1) is a champion for crime victims’ rights awareness and accountability.� Our mission is to promote and protect crime victims’ rights through education, advocacy, and enforcement.� CV1 is proud to announce our new Step Up Now!� Learn Your Rights Campaign.� The goals are to increase awareness about crime victims’ rights and accountability to ensure rights are afforded and violations are prevented.� Our goal is to raise $50,000 to help support this campaign and the services/programs that support our mission.

“I would personally like to thank Crime Victims First for helping me understand my rights…YOU’RE AMAZING!” – Erica Wildman (Theft Victim)

Too often, victims are not aware they have rights or they find out too late to ensure those rights are afforded to them.� In some cases, victims’ rights are violated and there is limited support and assistance to help them.� Crime Victims First was created to address these challenges, but CV1 needs your support to help increase awareness and understanding about victims’ rights, ensure rights are afforded to those who want them, and to provide support and assistance.

Crime Victims First is launching our new campaign called STEP UP NOW!� Learn Your Rights. The purpose of this campaign is to increase awareness about victims’ rights, support and assistance, and enforcement.� Your support also helps CV1 offer our services and programs.� Please join our Step Up Now!� Learn Your Rights Campaign.� You can make a difference today.

“The Crime Victims First organization has been a tremendous inspiration during this fight for victims’ rights.� CV1 provided the support and assistance I needed over this difficult two year journey to enforce my victims’ rights.� CV1 demonstrated integrity, creditability, and perseverance needed to make enforceable changes in victims’ rights.� I support CV1 efforts to increase awareness about victim rights laws and accountability.” – Steve Watson (Grandfather of Child Sexual Assault Victim)

Step Up Now! Join the Campaign

www.StepUpNow.org

Crime Victims First – Services/Programs

Crime Victims First provides the following services to anyone affected by crime and those working with them.

Education Services – providing training about victims’ rights, how to ensure these rights are afforded to you, what you can do if these rights are violated, and how those working with victims can move towards compliance.� CV1 created the first victims’ rights:� compliance & enforcement curriculum in Texas with support from the Texas Bar Foundation.� CV1 plans to expand curriculum to address the victim services and legal services perspectives on victims’ rights and enforcement.� CV1 is launching our Online Education Program in the fall 2011.

Victim Services – providing crisis counseling, emotional support and assistance, information, referrals and resources including our Ask an Advocate Program and Victims’ Rights Information Packets.

Legal Services – CV1 is initiating efforts to develop pro bono legal services to provide advice and representation to secure victims’ rights and attempt to resolve rights violations.� CV1 is a member of the National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys sponsored by the National Crime Victim Law Institute.� CV1 is also working with the University of Texas Law School Pro Bono Clinic providing learning opportunities for legal interns.� CV1 provides access to the first Online Victims’ Rights Complaint System in Texas.� Crime Victims First receives and attempts to resolve victim general complaints and rights violation complaints.

Public Policy – research shows that there are limited training and funding to achieve compliance with victims’ rights.� CV1 is working to secure the next wave of victims’ rights legislation – legislation that guarantees victims substantive rights and the procedural mechanisms to secure those rights.� CV1 is advocating for permanent funding for victims’ rights, victim services, compliance, and enforcement.� This includes providing funding necessary to fully train all victims, advocates, and those working with victims and ensure providers have what they need to be in compliance.� CV1 can help provide model legislation, and testify when called upon.� Take Action

Special Events – each year during National Crime Victims’ Rights Awareness Week, CV1 offers the Annual Jam 4 Justice Outreach Concerts (April) and the Step Up Now Kickball Tournament (October).� Sponsorship Packets Available

www.crimevictimsfirst.org

via CV1 Announces Step Up Now! Learn Your Rights Campaign | Crime Victims First.

via CV1 Announces Step Up Now! Learn Your Rights Campaign | Crime Victims First.


Ask An Advocate » Open / General Forum » Open / General Forum » enforcing victims rights | Crime Victims First

enforcing victims rights

on: January 19, 2012, 22:59

I am looking for any help on educating law enforcement on victim’s rights and ensuring that victims are made aware of their rights at the time of the crime. In the area I am in the only one helping victims is the victim coordinator at the DA’s office. The problem is that cases are not coming in front of victim coordinator at the DA’s office until the case is close to trial. In many cases that is months if not over a year after the crime has occurred. That is too long for victims to wait to learn of Crime Victims Compensation and other rights they are allowed by law. How can I go about ensuring that victims in my community are made aware of their rights and the services available to them at the time of the crime?

Chapter 56 article 56.04 section c of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure states that “Each local law enforcement agency shall designate one person to serve as the agency’s crime victim liasion” the article goes on to state what duties that person is to fufill. If it is mandated by law that law enforcement has this why is it not being enforced?

Last year I was thrust into the judicial system after the murder of my son. It was in the aftermath of that tragedy that I began to learn that victims of crime are routinely not afforded their rights. I have made it my goal to change that. As a victim I am moving forward trying to ensure that future victims will no longer be met with indifference by law enforcement.

via Ask An Advocate » Open / General Forum » Open / General Forum » enforcing victims rights | Crime Victims First.

via Ask An Advocate » Open / General Forum » Open / General Forum » enforcing victims rights | Crime Victims First.


National Crime Victims Rights Week – DFW | Deaf Network of Texas

National Crime Victims Rights Week – DFW

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

By Deaf Network

National Crime Victims Rights Week

DATE: April 10, 2011

TIME: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

ADDRESS:

313 North Center St.

Arlington, Texas 76011

National Crime Victims Rights Week – North Texas at the First United

Methodist Church of Arlington.

Crime Victims Council Announces Sponsors

For Community Interfaith Service of Help, Hope, and Healing

Rev. Sandra J. Lydick- Executive Director and Victims Chaplain

In observance of National Crime Victims Rights Week, Crime Victims Council

is the organizing sponsor for the 5th Annual Interfaith Service of Help,

Hope and Healing for victims of crime, their families, friends, and the

community to be held on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 3:00 p.m., in the Great

Hall at First United Methodist Church of Arlington, 313 North Center Street,

Arlington, Texas 76011.

The service is for all victims of any crime. Spanish language and ASL

Interpreter will be provided. Information tables will share resources for

victims and their families. Refreshments will be served.

Gold Sponsors

Millwood Hospital

Texas Health Resources

Silver Sponsors

Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church of Arlington

First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth

Inspiring Temple of Praise Church

Metropolitan Board of Missions

Friend Sponsors

Aftermath, Inc.

1st Class Mail & Business Center

Williams Financial Services

Community Sponsors

Advocates for Children of Trauma

Baptist General Convention of Texas

Beth-El Congregation

Campus Drive United Methodist Church

Congregation Beth Shalom

Daughters of Abraham

Disabled Crime Victims Assistance

El Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church

Excel Center

Fort Worth Police Department Clergy and Police Alliance

Grief Support for Parents of Murdered Children

Hurst Police Department

LifePoint United Methodist Church

MADD–North Texas

Multicultural Alliance

Muslim Community Center for Human Services

Open Arms Outreach

Our Garden of Angels

SafeHaven of Tarrant County

Silent Screams – A Cry for Help

Suicide Survivors

Traffick911

Trauma Support Services of North Texas, Inc.

For more information, contact us at info@crimevictimscouncil.org

CONTACT PERSON NAME: Sandra Lydick

CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: sandralydick@crimevictimscouncil.org

CONTACT TELEPHONE #: ������������(817) 675-6367������

via National Crime Victims Rights Week – DFW | Deaf Network of Texas.

via National Crime Victims Rights Week – DFW | Deaf Network of Texas.


Texas Council on Family Violence » Crime Victims’ Rights Candle Lighting Ceremony Honoring Victims’ Of Crime In Central Texas

Crime Victims’ Rights Candle Lighting Ceremony Honoring Victims’ Of Crime In Central Texas

CONTACT: Angela Hale ������������512-289-2995������ angela@redmediagroup.com

Austin, Texas—April 14, 2011—Tonight, Texans are gathering for a candle lighting ceremony to honor victims of crime as a part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The ceremony is a way to provide communities across the United States with a unique opportunity to contribute to reshaping the future for victims of crime—by raising awareness about crime-victim issues, by identifying and reaching out to victims who need our help, and by thinking anew about how to help individuals and communities harmed by crime.

This annual observance emceed by Texas Council on Family Violence President, Gloria A. Terry, also reminds us that, by honoring the past, we stand on the shoulders of those who led our nation’s struggle to secure basic rights, protections, and services for crime victims.

Many victims of crime will gather at the ceremony tonight to remember their loved ones and bring awareness to the victims of child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, drunken driving and a host of other crimes perpetrated on victims.

There are victims of crime every second of every day through out our nation and here in our home state of Texas.

• Victim of murder every 6 hours and 19 minutes in Texas

• A child is reported abused or neglected every 8.5 minutes in Texas

• Victim of sexual assault every hour

• Victim of dating abuse every hour in Texas

• Victim of theft every 14 minutes in Texas

• Victim of domestic violence every 36 minutes in Texas

• Victim of alcohol related crash every 40 minutes in Texas

• Victim of home burglary every two minutes in Texas

• Victim of identity theft every 5 minutes in Texas

• Elderly person is victimized every 11 minutes in Texas

We must work to ensure victims’ rights are always enforced. That is why we need to recall the ideals that inspired the decades-long struggle of the victims’ rights movement and challenge all Americans to honor victims’ rights. Laura Dean Mooney, President of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving will be the keynote speaker.

The Texas observance of Crime Victims’ Rights Week is being organized by the Austin area victim service agencies coalition in cooperation with the Texas Victim Service Association (TVSA). The kickoff event is Thursday night 7 at the Town Lake Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel in Austin, Texas.

The Texas Council on Family Violence Board of Directors will also honor the 83 staff and volunteers statewide who have dedicated 20 years or more to ending family violence and keeping families safe across Texas. Representing the 83 pioneers in the domestic violence movement are:

• Elva Gonzalez who has served 32 years at the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center

• Gail Rice who has served 30 years in Austin at the Center For Battered Women/SafePlace

• Melinda Cantu who has provided 21 years to SafePlace in Austin

The Texas Council on Family Violence National Crime Victims’ Rights Winners will be honored at a luncheon Friday afternoon at Holiday Inn-Town Lake from 12-1:30 p.m.

The following organizations will be participating in the kickoff event.

Office of Governor

Office of the Attorney General

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

People Against Violent Crimes

Texas Advocacy Project

MADD Texas State

Texas CASA

Texas Council on Family Violence

VICARS

Travis County District Attorney’s Office

For the Love of Christi

TDCJ Victim Services Division

Texas Victim Services Association

Texas Department of Public Safety

Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

United Way Killeen

Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue

Texas District & County Attorneys Association

Texas Lawyers Care

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas

Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Travis County Sheriff’s Office

Texas Legal Services Center

The Ortralla LuWone Mosely Foundation

Stephanie Frogge/Garden Charms

Texas Sheriffs Association

via Texas Council on Family Violence » Crime Victims’ Rights Candle Lighting Ceremony Honoring Victims’ Of Crime In Central Texas.

via Texas Council on Family Violence » Crime Victims’ Rights Candle Lighting Ceremony Honoring Victims’ Of Crime In Central Texas.


Criminal Justice Connections

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Reshaping the future, honoring the past

By Mike Jones, TDCJ Victim Services Division

Every April in communities across Texas, crime victims, victim advocates, criminal justice professionals and the general public commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. For 30 years Texas has been a leader in the victims’ rights movement, and there is no better time than now for Texans to focus on the hard-won rights that victims of crime in our state have earned.

Crime victims, determined to overcome the effects of crime and regain control of their lives, were the driving force behind the creation of the Texas Crime Victim Bill of Rights, which became law in 1985. Prior to that, crime victims in Texas had little or no opportunity to participate in the criminal justice process. Even among criminal justice professionals, few were aware of victims’ needs: to feel secure, to be informed, and to be heard and heeded by the criminal justice system.

In May 1993, a Victim Services section was established in the Parole Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The section notified crime victims, whose offenders were incarcerated within TDCJ, about their offender’s status, particularly in regards to the parole review process.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice demonstrated its commitment to crime victims when “to assist victims of crime” was added to the agency mission statement and elevated the Victim Services section to division status in 1997.

National Crime Victims Rights’ Week

The first crime victims’ rights week was organized in 1975 by the district attorney’s office in Philadelphia. Six years later, President Reagan established National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) as an annual event. Since its inception, NCVRW has challenged the nation to reshape the future by seeking rights, resources, and protections needed to rebuild crime victims’ lives.

The 2011 NCVRW theme – Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past – recognizes the ability of the victims and their advocates to alter history and transform lives. Each year, we celebrate decades of hard-earned progress and renew our commitment to overcome the harm caused by crime. By asserting rights and mobilizing resources that did not exist 30 years ago, victims hope to reshape their destinies by overcoming the negative effects of crime.

The U.S. Department of Justice will officially begin National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with the Annual National Candlelight Observance on Thursday, April 7, in Washington, D.C. The Attorney General’s National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony, which honors individuals and programs for innovations and outstanding achievements, will be held on Friday, April 8, also in Washington, D.C. For times, locations, and other event details, visit http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/events.html.

TDCJ Victim Services will join with other agencies and advocacy groups to host a statewide event honoring crime victims and their advocates on April 14 and 15 in Austin.

The Victim Services Division invites all TDCJ employees to support NCVRW by participating in scheduled activities in communities all across Texas. These events, which include community walks and runs, education and art expos, and a variety of recognition ceremonies, are designed to increase awareness of victims’ rights issues and the accomplishments achieved during the victims’ rights movement.

For more information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, contact the Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse at ������������800-848-4284������ or ������������512-406-5931������, or by e-mail at tdcj.clearinghouse@tdcj.state.tx.us.

via Criminal Justice Connections.

via Criminal Justice Connections.


Global Youth Service Day – April 20-22, 2012

GYSD is April 20-22, 2012

Current GYSD Project Totals

Total Projects Registered: 1,003

Total U.S. Projects: 727

Total International Projects: 276

Countries Participating: 58

U.S. States Participating: 47

U.S. States with the Highest Number of Projects:

1. Texas: 62

2. Minnesota: 55

3. Pennsylvania: 55

4: Michigan: 49

5. Wisconsin: 39

6. Virginia: 34

7. California: 34

8. Louisiana: 29

9. Utah: 26

10. Illinois: 25

Countries with the Highest Number of Projects:

1. Sri Lanka: 40

2. India: 37

3. Kyrgyzstan: 29

4. Brazil: 24

5. Uganda: 23

6. Bangladesh: 12

7. Kenya: 6

8. Canada: 6

9-12: Nigeria, Malawi, Liberia, Lebanon: 5

About Global Youth Service Day

On April 20-22, 2012, millions of children, teens, and young adults, ages 5-25, and their adult allies and champions in over 100 countries on 6 continents will change the world, addressing critical issues including health, education, environment, hunger, poverty, disaster preparedness and response, and human rights.

Be a part of the largest, and longest-running, annual day of service, and the only day of service dedicated to engaging and celebrating children and youth. Register your GYSD project or event today!

via Global Youth Service Day – April 20-22, 2012.

via Global Youth Service Day – April 20-22, 2012.


How far CAN we go?

How far CAN we go?

It’s worth a shot to try to help victims and survivors of domestic violence. We appreciate any and all assistance that you can provide us in sharing effective domestic violence laws on this site that are unique to your state.

Contact me, if you are interested in sharing articles on this blogsite about your laws, sharing your survivor story on here or on my radio show called BEYOND WORDS LIVE (http://blogtalkradio.com/oralhistory), and or would like to share some additional resources that may help domestic violence victims and survivors. bluebonnetfields@gmail.com. :)

Look forward to working with you… to help save as many lives as we can!!


Texas Youth Commission To Observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

TYC To Observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Contact:

Jim Hurley, Director of Public Affairs

(512) 424-6016/ jim.hurley@tyc.state.tx.us

Tim Savoy, Communication Director

(512) 424-6005/ tim.savoy@tyc.state.tx.us

April 24, 2009

The Texas Youth Commission (TYC) will join with other local, state and national organizations in observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week from April 26 to May 2, 2009. During this week, TYC youth will participate in events designed to help young offenders understand the effect of their crimes on their victims, their victims’ families, and their communities.

TYC’s CoNEXTions rehabilitation program, the core treatment program for every TYC youth, requires young offenders to understand the consequences of their actions from the perspective of their victims. While CoNEXTions is a year-round program, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is an opportunity to focus on the victims of crime, and for TYC youth to hear victims’ stories firsthand.

A number of TYC youth will meet face-to-face with crime victims. Youth at Giddings State School, Crockett State School, Corsicana Residential Treatment Center and McFadden Ranch in Roanoke will participate in victim impact panels, where they will meet the victims and surviving family members of violent crime. These panels provide crime victims the opportunity to describe their losses to young offenders and explain the continuing impact crime has on their lives. TYC’s McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Mart will sponsor a shoe drive and display a pair of shoes for each victim of the TYC youth at the facility. The shoes will then be donated to a family abuse center in Waco, benefiting victims of abuse and crime.

Additional events occurring throughout all TYC facilities include flower planting in victim gardens, tree plantings, weeklong empathy lessons, and prose and poetry competitions in which youth must put themselves in their victim’s place and express how the crime has affected them.

“We realize that for each youth in our care, there are many victims of their actions,” said TYC Executive Commissioner Cherie Townsend. “Bringing this realization to the youth is an important step in their rehabilitation, and National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is the perfect opportunity to help our youth develop empathy for their victims.”

This year, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act, the landmark legislation that made a national commitment to victims of crime.

via TYC To Observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

via Texas Youth Commission To Observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.


Free Technology and Stalking Resources | Texas District & County Attorneys Association

Free technology and ­stalking resources

The Use of Technology to Stalk Online Course is a new resource produced by the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice. The purpose of this self-paced, interactive online training is to increase the ability of criminal justice professionals and victim service providers to recognize how stalkers use technology and, ultimately, enhance their ability to work with victims of stalking. The course begins with an introduction to the concept of stalking and then moves on to share how technology is used to stalk. Each technology module includes information on documenting evidence and investigation and considerations for victim safety. The course concludes with a discussion on how stalking affects victims and resources for additional information and assistance. Visit www .tech2stalk.com for more information and to register.

��� The Use of Technology to Stalk training video and discussion guide is another free resource produced by the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime. This 15-minute video is designed to enhance awareness among professionals working with stalking victims and offenders of how stalkers use a vast array of technologies today. The video provides an overview of the most common forms of technology used by stalkers, victim testimony, and commentary from professionals on considerations for working with victims. The short format of the training video makes it ideal for situations in which time for training is short, such as law enforcement roll-call trainings or victim advocate training. To request a free copy, please visit the Stalking Resource Center website at www .ncvc.org/src.

via Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2012 | Texas District & County Attorneys Association.

via Free Technology and Stalking Resources | Texas District & County Attorneys Association.


Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2012 | Texas District & County Attorneys Association

TDCAA Victim Services Director in Austin

The 2012 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide is available at http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ ncvrw2012/index.html. It contains everything you need to host and promote NCVRW in your community, including posters, camera-ready artwork, web ads, and a Spanish version. NCVRW will be observed April 22-28, 2012; “Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim” is the theme. Please send us articles and captioned pictures on activities in your community.

via Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2012 | Texas District & County Attorneys Association.

via Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2012 | Texas District & County Attorneys Association.


Video: Crime victims week vigil in Texas City

Video: Crime victims week vigil in Texas City

By TJ Aulds | Share |�Permalink�| Add Comments

About a hundred people turned out for the Texas City ceremony for National Crime Victims Week. Among those was Jennifer Schuett, who was kidnapped from her home at the age of nine, raped and had her throat slashed by her attacker 19 years ago.

A suspect was arrested in October, 2009. She encouraged those who attended to speak out and let their voices be heard and she said she hoped to inspire other crime victims to do the same.

Jennifer Schuett addresses the crowd.

Texas City Police Captain Brian Goetschius, left, and Chief Robert Burby stand with Sylvia Joiner Crawford and her niece Felecia West. Crawford’s two brothers were murdered in two separate incidents. One of the men, Ernest Joiner was West’s father.

Jennifer Schuett started a victim’s voice website that gives the details of her case and helps crime victims speak up about criminal incidents. Click here to go to her site. Jennifer is shown with supporters of her Use Your Voice campaign.

via Video: Crime victims week vigil in Texas City.

via Video: Crime victims week vigil in Texas City.


The Resurrection of a Woman’s Life

The Resurrection of a Woman’s�LifePOSTED BY THELIFEOLOGISTCHRONICLES ⋅ APRIL 8, 2012 ⋅ 6 COMMENTSFILED UNDER �COUNSELING, COURAGE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, EMPOWER, EVE ENSLER, FAITH, GIRLS, GOD FEAR FAITH COURAGE TRUST, RESURRECTION, THE LIFEOLOGIST, V-DAY, VAGINA MONOLOGUE, WOMENI was a victim of domestic�abuse for 20 years; 4 years as a teenager by my boyfriend, who later became my husband of 15 years. I was 16 when this first began and was 35, when I finally got the sense and the courage to leave. However, the affects�of the abuse weren’t quite over. It took 10�long years for me to really regain my life and for him to stop attempting to destroy it for leaving him. In hindsight, there are a plethora of unreasonable reasons why I stayed in this relationship and later married my abuser and why it took me so long to get out of it; I kept it a secret for a long time, it was your classic textbook case with a very unusual twist.�The blessing of it all, is I lived through it, to become the woman I am today. There are tens of thousands of women who didn’t and that’s why I tell my story in hopes of raising awareness�of women and girls out there who�may be�headed down this familiar road to take another route.In May 1997 on Mother’s day and the day after I received my Master’s Degree in Counseling, I was severely assaulted by my husband and ended up in a hospital emergency room and that’s when I finally decided, this was the last time and I would never go back and I didn’t. It took years of spiritual healing, relocating, gut-wrenching sacrifices and a heartbreaking choice that involved saving the lives of my two children as well as my own to heal from the affects of this experience. Over the years, I’ve experienced ongoing financial hardships, have had some friends and family support me and�overcame the emotional harm inflicted by those who knew the truth, but chose to judge me in the aftermath.In 1995, just a few years before my marriage ended, I began to actively help women like me who didn’t know I was also being abused. I know now that I was also seeking help for myself in addition to helping them; it was the beginning of the end of this extremely unhealthy and undeserving life as I knew it.Today, 14 years after my divorce, I have a beautiful new story to tell and the miracle of my life speaks for itself. Although it was extremely difficult at times, I never gave up hope, I never stopped trusting in my faith and in myself and I never stopped doing the hard work I needed to do to forgive myself and my ex-husband in order to�heal.My children are amazing young adults now, I am extremely grateful to God for that and we are making new memories together. I am living the essence of�my dreams, looking forward to more beautiful experiences and by sharing my real and authentic life lessons, I have made it my life’s work with every opportunity I get to inspire and educate women and girls, including my daughter, to make wiser choices in life to help avoid this experience and empower them to take their lives back, if they find themselves in a similar situation.ReTina Broussard “The Lifeologist”Social Commentator/Media Personality/Speaker/Writer/Performercopyright 2012, ReTina Broussard. All Rights Reserved.I have always wanted to be�in a production of “The Vagina Monologues” because of my experience and I�now have the honor of participating in this phenomenal play in this phase of my life, it is a sweet gift from God and dream come true!V‑DAY, THE DISTRICT JOINS GLOBAL EFFORT TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS … V-Day The District 2012 Presents a Benefit Production of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUESwithDeborah Bond, ReTina Broussard�and Majic 102.3’s Cortney HicksJoin Us As We Raise Funds And Awareness To End Violence Against Women And Girls�On Sunday, April 22, 2012, at 7 pm, V‑Day The District will present a�ONE-NIGHT ONLY�benefit reading of Eve Ensler’s award winning play “The Vagina Monologues” at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD.Tickets may be purchased at www.camilleparrisevents.com

via The Resurrection of a Woman’s Life.

via The Resurrection of a Woman's Life.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.