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1988 NOVA Newsl. 1 (1988)

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                          Volume  12, Number  1,  January,

Prevailing With Spirit: A Report on the Work of the

Washington Headquarters' Staff

by Marlene A. Young, NOVA  Executive

At the request of many  members,  the
NOVA  Newsletter will from time to time
give a full report on the activities of the
NOVA  staff at the national headquarters.
This issue of the Newsletter offers the first
such report.

    At its January, 1988, meeting, the
NOVA   Board of Directors voted to adopt
The  Courage to Prevail as the 1988
Campaign  for Victim Rights theme. It
asks us to focus on the anguish of victimi-
zation and to salute the victims and their
loved ones who have survived that expe-
rience. But the theme also reflects the
struggle to survive that NOVA itself faces
each year.
    This year more than any other in the
recent past, NOVA is battling forfinancial
survival. The Justice Assistance Act from
which  much  of NOVA's   funding has
come  was refunded by Congress but with
none of its block grant program and only
part of its discretionary grant program in
place. At present, it appears that NOVA
will receive a new training grant under the
Victims of Crime Act but its much larger
support from JAA funds may be cut sub-
stantially. As a result, NOVA has had to
cut ten paid staff positions since last Au-
gust, leaving us with a full-time paid staff
of only twelve individuals. (Fortunately,
some  of our management staff have con-
tinued to work as volunteers in hopes that
the situation will improve.)
    Ironically, the struggle comes at a
time whenNOVA   is delivering more serv-
ices than ever before to its membership
and to victims of crime and crises.
    From time to time, it is appropriate to
inform NOVA's   members  just who and

what their organization is. This is a good
occasion to review our past, present, and
future together.
    NOVA   was founded in 1975. For its
first five years, it functioned entirely with
the aid of volunteer board members and
staff, and it was financed almost entirely
from individual dues and donations. In
1980, NOVA  received its first grant from
the U.S. Department of Justice and was
able to hire its first paid staff; a few may
remember  our  first Acting Executive
Director, Steven Potter, and his Assistant,
Cindy Plaisted.
    Since then, NOVA has gone through
the strains of any fledgling organization
trying to establish a national presence, a
national headquarters, and a permanent
funding base. Through it all, NOVA has
adhered to its overall mission in all of its
products and  services to the victims'
movement   in the  United States and
throughout the world.
    That mission is to establish rights and
services for victims of crime and crisis in
every community they are found, a mis-
sion it has been translated into four formal

National Advocacy
    I am in earnest-I shall not excuse
-  I shall not equivocate - I shall not
retreat a single inch; and I shall be
heard! -  William Lloyd Garrison.

    NOVA's   first and formost purpose is
to serve as anational advocate for victims.
This advocacy is reflected in two ways.
    NOVA   seeks to provide a voice for
victims in local, state, and the federal
governments.  The effectiveness of that
voice can be seen in the fact that over
1,500 pieces of state legislation relating to
victim rights and services have been en-

President Reagan greets Marlene Young at
1987 White House Proclamation Ceremony

acted in the United States since 1980,
much of it passed at the urging of NOVA
members  equipped with policy research
developed by NOVA.
    It can be seen in the federal Victim
and Witness Protection Act of 1982 which
mirrored NOVA's  general bill of rights
written in 1980. It can be seen in the initial
enactment of the Victims of Crime Act of
1984, and its voice continues to be heard
at the reauthorization hearings this year. It
canbeseenin the 1985 U.N. International
Declaration on Rights of Victims of Crime
and Abuse of Power. It also can be seen in
the state legislative tracking system that
NOVA   maintains as a service to the field

                (Continued next page)

  In  This Issue:

  *New  Lobbying  Rules .............3
  * European Insights .................4

    Membership  Drives .......7

The NOVA Newsletter is published as a service to the NOVA membership and to the general public. Views expressed here are those oftheir authors and do not necessarily
represent those of the Board ofDirectors ofNOVA. O 1988 by the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce copyrighted
materials in the Newsletter provided the source and copyright are appropriately noted in the reproduction.



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