The Attention Belongs to Victims
California puts victims and their rights first during April
Sacramento, CA — According to the California Attorney General’s Office, over 440 violent crimes are reported in California each day. This April, communities across the state will join together during California Crime Victims’ Rights Month to honor, recognize, support and advocate for survivors of violence.
“A great deal of attention is placed on the sensationalism of crime, the offenders and even offender rights, but during Crime Victims’ Rights Month, we rightfully bring the focus back to victims,” said Julie Nauman, the Executive Officer of the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP). “It is our duty to offer healing services, support and advocacy.”
In a time when criminals, their behaviors, and senseless crimes are held in the public spotlight, it is imperative to bring the attention back to victims and their needs. This year’s theme, “Victims’ Rights, Victims’ First” demands that victims’ rights be the state’s top priority. The state must ensure the enforcement of the legal rights afforded to victims; including the right to restitution, the right to be treated with fairness and respect, the right to reasonable notice of parole procedures, the right to be reasonably protected from the defendant, the right to speak at criminal justice proceedings, and the right to a speedy trial and a prompt and final conclusion.
The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) will honor victims and thank those who assist them throughout a number of activities during Crime Victims’ Rights Month. Communities throughout California are encouraged to join and participate:
- Victims’ Rights March and Rally at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 8th — The public is encouraged to participate in our annual Victims’ Rights March led by California Government Operations Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer, followed by a rally at the State Capitol. The March begins at 10 a.m. at 400 R Street in Sacramento and concludes at the California State Capitol.
- County Observances — CalVCP will join county officials across the state to honor both victims and the advocates who help guide survivors through the justice process and direct them to critical resources.
- Podcasts — CalVCP will release a series of short interviews with courageous survivors who will share their experiences and describe their healing process.
- Screening of Teenage $ex for $ale: Human Trafficking in San Bernardino County — CalVCP will host a screening of a short documentary produced by the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office that delves into the problem of sexual exploitation in the nation's largest county.
- Victims’ Rights Digital Town Hall — CalVCP will host an online town hall discussion addressing a variety of topics, including how to reach the underserved through collaborative efforts.
- CVRM April 2014 Public Service Announcement — This video features California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris speaking to survivors, advocates, and community leaders on the important work being done to prevent crime, provide services to victims, and honor the lives of those lost to violent crimes.
- Blogs — CalVCP will post a number of guest blogs examining issues, personal stories, and helpful tools and services, written by respected leaders in the victims’ rights community
- Denim Day — On Wednesday, April 23rd, CalVCP and millions across the nation will wear denim as a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.
“Each year, more and more Californians take action to support victims of crime and look for ways to assist them in their healing process,” Nauman said. “During this month, I encourage anyone who has been affected by violent crime to take the time to learn about their rights and the services available to them and their loved ones.”
For more information, visit CalVCP's California Crime Victims’ Rights Month website.
The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, and vehicular manslaughter. Last fiscal year, the program assisted more than 600 individuals each week, and provided nearly $62 million in compensation to crime victims.
If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and matching federal funds.
For more information about victims’ rights and services, visit the CalVCP website.