National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) was established in 1981 to honor crime victims and their families and promote the available services and resources. NCVRW brings together victim advocates, law enforcement officials, and community members to recognize the impact of crime on individuals, families, and communities, and to advocate for change.
It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the victims’ rights movement and reflect on how far its come.
This year, NCVRW will be observed April 23 through 29 with the theme Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change. This theme acknowledges the power of survivors’ voices in creating meaningful change and will focus on amplifying the voices of survivors so they can feel empowered and supported.
Highlighting crime victims’ rights
Promoting victims’ rights is essential in addressing the impact crime has on individuals and communities. It ensures that victims are informed about their rights and have access to the services and resources they need to heal from the trauma of the crime.
It also helps to strengthen trust between victims, law enforcement officials, and the justice system. By acknowledging the needs and rights of victims, the justice system can establish a more collaborative relationship with victims and their families and build greater confidence within the community.
As we recognize NCVRW 2023, we want to remind victims and survivors of the rights and entitlements they have under federal and state law. During criminal proceedings, these include the rights to:
- Be informed about the criminal justice process, including court hearings and the status of the offender
- Be heard in court and participate in the sentencing process
- Receive restitution from the offender for damages or losses suffered as a result of the crime
- Be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect throughout the criminal justice process
Rights in civil court
At Rafi Law Firm, home of esteemed Atlanta crime victim lawyer Mike Rafi, we represent crime victims whose injuries were caused by the wrongful or criminal conduct of others, including shootings, rapes, sexual assaults, and other acts.
Our team is dedicated to protecting victims’ rights and helping them recover the compensation they need to gain closure and rebuild their lives, which is something not many crime victims know is an option available to them.
Through a personal injury lawsuit in the civil courts, crime victims can collect compensation (called damages) for the financial losses they suffered as a result of the crime. These damages include medical bills, the mental and emotional pain and anguish caused by the incident, and lost wages from when their physical or mental injuries prevented them from working.
We handle these cases on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless the victim receives compensation. As a result, victims can obtain quality representation regardless of their financial situation.
Resources and support available for victims of crime in Georgia
The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP) provides financial assistance to eligible victims of violent crime who have suffered physical injury or emotional trauma.
Other resources include counseling services and support groups for victims and their families. These resources are designed to help victims cope with the crime’s trauma, understand their rights, and access the services they need to heal and move forward. There are many resources locally and across the state:
- CVCP provides access to referral services, hotlines, and other nonprofit or government organizations that can provide support and other forms of assistance.
- Kate’s Club is a resource for teens, their families, and young adults after the loss of a loved one.
- Atlanta Victim’s Assistance (AVA) advocates and provides services to crime victims.
Events and activities during NCVRW 2023
NCVRW 2023 will feature many events and activities nationwide, including in Georgia. The events are designed to raise awareness about the impact of crime on victims, families, and communities and to promote victims’ rights and services. They allow community members, law enforcement officials, and victim advocates to come together, share their experiences, and advocate for change.
For starters, the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) will be holding special ceremonies to recognize the organizations and individuals who have helped advance and improve victim services in Georgia.
Other events will be held by organizations committed to upholding the rights of victims. This includes the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), which will offer free training, informative webinars, and more. Many of these events will be held virtually, so distance is not an issue for those wanting to watch the ceremony.
Recognizing the impact of crime
Victims of crime often face many challenges, including physical and emotional trauma, financial hardship, and social stigma. Families and communities are also impacted. Trauma can be passed down to future generations, and children of victims may have difficulty in school or trouble forming positive relationships. Likewise, communities may suffer from increased fear and a heightened sense of vulnerability.
Providing support and resources to victims and their families is crucial in helping them to rise above the trauma of crime and preventing the domino effect of negative impacts on the community. This includes access to counseling, financial assistance, and legal advocacy. It also includes creating a safe, supportive atmosphere where victims feel empowered and supported.
At Rafi Law Firm, we’re dedicated to doing our part in these efforts to make a difference in the lives of crime victims in Georgia. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a crime, please contact us today at (404) 800-9933 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our services.
One of our skilled Atlanta crime victim lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation by filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim. We look forward to hearing from you.