WASHINGTON – The Senate last night passed a resolution introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, coinciding with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, to raise awareness about the unique needs of crime victims and their families who play an important role in the judicial process.
Each year, millions of Americans across the country tragically fall victim to more than 20 million crimes committed in the United States. These crimes can have a significant and damaging impact not only on the victims and their families, but also on entire communities.
Grassley and Leahy’s resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that victims and survivors of crime need and deserve support. The resolution also asserts that survivors of crimes are integral to ensuring justice and protecting communities when victims report crimes and bravely participate in the criminal justice process.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week represents more than three decades of collaboration between Congress, the Justice Department and communities across the nation to identify and address the many needs of crime victims, survivors and their families. The theme for this year’s event is “Serving Victims, Building Trust, Restoring Hope.” The resolution acknowledges that while much progress has been made toward accomplishing these goals, more needs to be done. In particular, the resolution states that the United States must empower victims and survivors by protecting their legal rights, providing support in the aftermath of crime and treating all victims and their families with dignity and respect.
To help ensure federal resources are being effectively used to meet crime victims’ needs, Grassley and Leahy are convening a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next week to review the Crime Victims Fund. The fund was established in 1984 to support victim assistance grants and to help defray survivors’ crime-related expenses. The fund has undergone changes governing its revenue and disbursements over the years. The hearing will assess how those funds are being used.
This year, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is April 10 – 16.
Full text of the resolution is available HERE.