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1984 NOVA Newsl. 1 (1984)

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lAeTIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR       ASSISTANCE








                       Volume 8, Number 1,


I


January 1984


1984 Victim Rights Week: April 15-21


  It was on a Tuesday last April in
a  convention  hall in Chicago.
Pamphlets  and  posters were on
display at the entrance way. The
welcoming committee was on hand
with greetings and name tags. The
stage was set and the speakers were
all present. Television cameras were
set up and print reporters were get-
ting background  material on the
one-day conference. All was going
according to expectations-except,
for the public turnout. Instead of the
expected 400 or 500, maybe 600 par-
ticipants, practically 1,000 residents
of the windy city showed up to learn
more about victim issues during the
Chicago Victim Rights Week.
  The success of Chicago's efforts to
publicize National Victim Rights
Week  was  largely attributable to
Eileen Springer, Director of the Vic-
tim/Witness Program in the Cook
County  State's Attorney's Office.
But it also represented success of
another kind: the development of a
rising commitment to victim rights
by the general public. While not all
1983 Victim Rights Week activities
drew a thousand participants, most
were  certainly well attended. In
1984, our goal is to do even better.
  Many  jurisdictions have already


  In This   Issue:
  * WSV  Drafts Proclamation..3
  * House  Passes Child Abuse
  Act  ............3
  * Review of Sexual Assault Sym-
  posium   ... .......... 3
  * NOVA   Board Adopts  Policy
  Statements  ............... 5


President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Crime Victims Week last April. Attendees
for the White House ceremony included (from left to right) Assistant U.S. Attorney General
Lois HaightHerrington, Vice President Bush, three victims of crime, and Attorney General
William French Smith.
started planning for their Victim  all faced similar anxieties and met
Rights Week  activities. But com-  with similar successes. And many of
munities  which  have  only just   these states recall that Victim Rights
begun can still pull it off. They can  Week event as having been the start-
take a lesson from a number of fledg-  ing place of a major longer-term
ling state networks which, in March campaign-like the Oregon   net-
of last year, were worried about   work's successful efforts to see a pro-
whether or not to even try to do gram enacted to give state funding
Victim Rights Week.                to local victim/witness programs.
  There network leaders were be-     It bears emphasizing that, while
seiged by problems in their own pro- Victim Rights Week comes once a
grams and didn't think they had the year, the Campaign  for Victim
time, the resources, or the know-  Rights goes  on year-round  and
how  to stage this kind of public  everyone's contributions during the
education program. But they also   week and the year help to sustain
knew  that such a program was im-  the momentum.  Theachievements
portant, that it works best during of the victim advocates over the last
that one week a year, and so they  few years have been phenomenal.
tried- and succeeded.                We have many people to thank for
  Oregon's effort resulted in a Vic- those achievements-certainly such
tim Rights conference and banquet  national leaders as Assistant At-
which  hosted over one hundred     torney General Lois Herrington,
people. Ohio's network arranged a  Representative Peter Rodino, and
similar success. Arizona,  New     Senator Paul Laxalt. But victims who
Mexico, Maryland, Virginia, North  hav  benefited from our progress
Carolina, Rhode Island, and others     ably owe even greater thanks to

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