Washington, DC -Next week, communities throughout the nation will rally to honor and support victims of crime in observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The traditional lineup of vigils, unity gatherings, and community fairs will trumpet a national theme of “Fairness. Dignity. Respect.”
In the District, a group of victim advocates and service providers plan to ask lawmakers to introduce a new tradition to honor crime victims, by restoring local control of the District’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund, which has been under federal control since 1997.
The move would restore millions of dollars of crime victim services funding to the beleaguered city budget. Nearly two dozen crime victim advocacy organizations and service providers, backed by over 1,600 supporters from around the country, are urging federal lawmakers to give the city control of the District’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
The Fund is designated to assist crime victims and their families with expenses such as funeral costs, medical and mental health costs, and lost wages. Those who benefit are victims of violent crimes, including rape, robbery, domestic violence, child abuse, and the families of homicide victims.
“The Crime Victims Compensation Office draws millions in annual revenue from court fines and fees paid by District residents,” said Denise Snyder, executive director of the DC Rape Crisis Center, where more than 3,000 sexual assault victims receive crisis support and counseling services each year. “How can it be that the District has no control over how these local funds are used to help our community’s most vulnerable crime victims?” Initiative
If you support what we're trying to do, then let your voice be heard! Take action by signing the petition to ask the federal government to restore control of Crime Victims Compensation Funds to the District government in FY2011. Sign now!