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Geoff Greenwood, Communications Director
515-281-6699, geoff.greenwood@iowa.gov

Attorney General’s Office Celebrates 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
(April 21-27)

Rights Week (April 21-27) Reminds victims of crime they may be eligible for compensation through the Crime Victim Assistance Division

Victim service providers throughout Iowa are planning community awareness events during the week of April 21-27 to commemorate this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  This year’s theme, “New Challenges, New Solutions,” acknowledges the accomplishments and ongoing efforts of service providers, stakeholders, and victims in transforming the victim services field.

The Office of the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division is focusing this year’s efforts on increasing awareness to victims about available services and assistance.

“Our crime victim assistance staff is working hard to ensure that victims of crime across the state get the help and services they need,” Attorney General Tom Miller said.  “This special week reminds us that we’re here to protect and serve our state’s victims of crime, and hopefully this annual awareness campaign lets more people know that there’s help available.”

The Crime Victim Assistance Division provides services and financial support to crime victims and victim service providers throughout Iowa.

“This year’s theme serves as a reminder that while we’ve made a lot of progress in the victim services field, but we still have a long way to go,” Crime Victim Assistance Division Director Janelle Melohn said.  “Nothing can bring back a loved one or erase the painful memories of a violent crime, but victims of crimes have many more opportunities for justice now than ever before, such as the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, court-ordered restitution, and increased offender accountability,” Melohn said.

A list of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week events such as vigils, walks, and information fairs is posted on the Crime Victim Assistance Division Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CrimeVictimAssistanceDivision.

The Crime Victims’ Compensation Program is funded entirely by criminal fines and penalties, not taxpayers.  In 2012 more than 2,771 victims received $6,351,091 in financial assistance for eligible out-of-pocket expenses including medical care, counseling, lost wages, and funeral expenses.

For more information on the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, go to www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov and click on “Helping Victims of Crime,” or call 800-373-5044. For ideas on how to volunteer to help victims of crime, visit the Office for Victims of Crime website at www.ovc.gov or contact a local victim service provider.