FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 11, 2013
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and Victim Witness Program to be Joined by Attorney General Cuccinelli in Recognition of Crime Victims’ Rights Week
“New Challenges. New Solutions.”
Loudoun County, Virginia- April 22st through April 26th is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The 2013 theme “New Challenges. New Solutions.” summons us to work together to advance crime victims’ rights. It calls us to name the next set of challenges and mobilize to meet them. The theme evokes the spirit that launched the victims’ rights movement and helped overcome past obstacles.
Only 30 years ago, crime victims had no rights, access to crime victim compensation, or services to help rebuild their lives. They were often excluded from courtrooms, treated as an afterthought by the criminal justice system, and denied an opportunity to speak at sentencing. Yet through decades of advocacy and hard work, we have come a long way. Today, all states have enacted crime victims’ rights laws and established crime victim compensation funds. More than 10,000 victim service agencies help victims throughout the nation. Every year, states and localities receive millions of federal dollars to support these services.
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.
On Friday, April 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and Victim Witness Program will host their Annual Open House and Victims’ Services Award Ceremony. The event will be held in the Multipurpose Room in the Loudoun County Courthouse located at 18 East Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman is pleased to announce that our distinguished guest speaker will be Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II. “We’re very excited to have Attorney General Cuccinelli join us during this week of recognition,” said Plowman. “He has done tremendous work in Virginia to protect citizens from victimization and aided in preventing others from becoming victims through his expansive outreach and educational initiatives.”
Also joining in this year’s event will be Ms. Lorraine Reed Whoberry. In 2001, Whoberry began the S.T.A.C.I.E Foundation (http://staciefoundation.org) in honor of her daughters, Stacie who was murdered, and Kristie who was brutally attacked in their home in Manassas, Virginia. Whoberry has always been vocal about her daughter’s case and will be speaking on "The Impact of Victimization."
The ceremony will be open to members of the public and media. All are encouraged to join us 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.