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National Crime Victims' Rights Week

Apr 27, 2006

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Executive Director Delilah Rumburg and Sharon Rocha, activists and mother of domestic homicide victim Laci Peterson, were among those honored by the Office for Victims of Crime during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 23 to 29. The Week is held to honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.

Events included a candlelight ceremony and awards to individuals and organizations for outstanding service in supporting victims and victims’ services. “During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we underscore our commitment to safeguarding the rights of the victims of crime and their families, and we honor those who bring them hope and comfort,” President Bush said in a declaration. “All Americans share a responsibility to help victims of crime, and our Nation will continue to work together to achieve justice for victims and build a more hopeful society for all.”

A National Observance and Candlelight Ceremony featured Rocha, who has written, For Laci: A Mother’s Story of Love, Loss & Justice. She was also honored as a winner of the National Crime Victim Service Award. Rocha is working to improve victims’ rights in California through legislation that would allow victims and their families to be present during the court process with ensured seating. Right now California’s laws are vague regarding the rights of victims to be part of the judicial process.

Rumburg also received a National Crime Victim Service Award. As a national leader in the anti-sexual violence movement, she has served victims of crime for more than 19 years. Rumburg serves as co-chair on the Department of Defense Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Violence at Military Service Academies, which offered a series of recommendations for improving responses to sexual violence in the military.

Domestic violence survivor Carolyn E. Thomas from Waco, Texas received the Special Courage Award; Thomas suffered catastrophic facial injuries and was not expected to live after being shot by her abusive ex-boyfriend. She continues to share her story of domestic violence and has spoken on many national television shows to increase awareness.

Other award winners include: Steven R. Siegel, Director of Program Development for the Denver District Attorney’s office in Colorado; Hogar de Niños Regazo de Paz, a home for abused and abandoned children in Puerto Rico; Federal Victim Witness Coordinator Susan Shriner, who has worked to help victims of human trafficking; and Dr. Anna I. S. Binkiewicz, M.D, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine for her work to stop child abuse and neglect and help victims.

More information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week award recipients is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw/2006/2006bios.htm

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