National Crime Victims' Rights Week 2021
Melissa Pennachi and Erin Connelly, Co-Chairs, Victims' Rights Task Force
Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) is a time to renew our commitment to serving all victims of crime, to acknowledge the achievements in victims services and allied professions, to honor those who have gone above and beyond in their service to others, and to remember crime victims and survivors.
Every April, the Office for Victims of Crime leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of NCVRW. The 40th anniversary of NCVRW will be observed April 18-24, 2021.
Office for Victims of Crime selected the 2021 theme – Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities. – that emphasizes the importance of leveraging community support to help victims of crime. In the last year, we have seen this in action as everyone across this country and the world has had to navigate COVID-19 and the challenges it presented. Victim service professionals and others who serve victims have had to adjust and reimagine the best ways to work with victims in these unfamiliar times. Advocates across the state of Delaware worked tirelessly to engage with victims and connect them to services available to them, while also navigating changes in some systems and services.
This year, the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force is again adapting to COVID-19 in how we honor Crime Victims’ Rights Week. While traditionally we have had an in-person proclamation signing with the Governor’s office, as well as an Annual Tribute, we have pivoted to a virtual platform to recognize the week. We encourage people to join us as we celebrate the week and to hopefully get a glimpse of what victims and survivors navigate and the professionals that assist along the way. The Victims’ Rights Task Force (VRTF) will be highlighting the week on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/delvrtf. Below is a list of events for the week the Victims’ Rights Task Force is hosting.
On Monday, April 19, the proclamation will be released. There will be an English language video as well as a Spanish language video. We thank those local leaders who participated to recognize this important week.
On Tuesday, April 20, the VRTF Facebook page will spotlight organizations and programs across the state that serve victims. Delaware has an array of excellent services available and we hope to recognize all that these programs do and to provide information as to how to best access these services.
On Wednesday, April 21, a video will be shared of a victim telling her own story, in her own words about her victimization and the impact it had on her. We hope by sharing her story we can raise awareness about experience of victims and the challenges they may face following the victimization.
Thursday, April 22 is a day when we will be recognizing outstanding professionals in the field and hope you can follow for that announcement.
Additionally, the Delaware House of Representatives and Senate will be releasing a joint resolution, recognizing the week as Crime Victims’ Rights Week. It is part of our Advocacy Day effort where we encourage people to reach out to their legislators to remind them of the impact of crime on victims and the community; the services that assist victims and the need we also have to expand services; and the need for victims to be ensured rights and protections in our criminal justice and civil systems.
Friday, April 23 is Thank An Advocate Day and we encourage everyone to take a minute to honor those that work diligently to serve victims and survivors, often quietly and without recognition.
If you are in need of help or guidance, or are working with someone who needs assistance, please check out www.delawarevictimservices.org, a website of available services to victims in Delaware.
If you know a victim advocate or someone who works with victims, please take a moment this week to thank them for the work they do. These advocates and allied professionals are truly the best at what they do and make a different every day.