FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 31, 2016
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and Victim Witness Program to Recognize Efforts of Law Enforcement and Honor Victims
“National Crime Victims’ Rights Week honors and celebrates the achievements of the past thirty years in securing rights, protections, and services for victims”
Loudoun County, Virginia- April 10th through April 16th is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The 2016 theme “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.” presents the opportunity to highlight the importance of providing needed services at the earliest stage of victimization. Early intervention helps prevent both further victimization and involvement in the criminal justice system, thus addressing the cycle of violence and restoring hope for the future.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week honors and celebrates the achievements of the past thirty years in securing rights, protections, and services for victims. Outreach is increasingly focused on previously underserved populations, ensuring that efforts are being made to provide support to all victims, regardless of their background or the crime committed against them.
During the week, agencies across America will observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Here in Loudoun County, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Victim Witness Program will be distributing information regarding Crime Victims’ Rights and on Friday, April 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., will host their Annual Open House and Victims’ Services Award Ceremony. The event will be held in the Community Room in the Loudoun County Courthouse, located at 18 East Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman is pleased to announce that this year’s distinguished guest speakers will be Virginia Senator Richard “Dick” Black and Barbara Amaya.
Senator Black, represents the 13th District encompassing both parts of Loudoun and Prince Williams Counties. Formerly, Senator Black represented the 32nd District in Loudoun County, Virginia, for eight years in the Virginia House of Delegates. Prior to his political career Senator Black enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and later served as an officer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Senator Black retired from the military in 1994 to work in private practice at law firm in Loudoun County.
In May 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed three bills addressing sexual assault on college campuses. Senator Black helped write the original legislation requiring campus safety officials to join a threat assessment team after a student reports a sexual assault. The other bills signed by Governor McAuliffe help survivors get counseling after a sexual assault occurs and deal with campus law enforcement's reporting of incidents to law enforcement. All the bills were aimed at keeping campuses safe, protecting survivors of sexual assault, and holding perpetrators responsible for their crimes. Senator Black will discuss this and other legislation that he has been recently involved in furtherance of victims’ rights.
Barbara Amaya is an award winning author, advocate and survivor. At the age of 12, Ms. Amaya, was first trafficked in Washington, D.C. and then on the streets of New York for over a decade. Ms. Amaya will share how she moved from barely surviving into truly overcoming adversity and what others can do today to combat human trafficking, a billion-dollar criminal industry.
The awards ceremony will be open to members of the general public and the media. All are encouraged to join in our celebration and Open House. For additional information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, or crime victim assistance please contact the Loudoun County Victim Witness Program at (703) 777-0417 or the Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office for Justice Programs within the U.S. Department of Justice at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw.