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Promoting Victims’ Rights

By Staff | Apr 25, 2012

Each April since 1981, the National Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, has helped lead communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.

The 2012 NCVRW theme – “Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim”- calls us to revisit, revive, and expand the vision that inspired the crime victims’ movement and the progress we celebrate each year. It captures the spirit, insight, and resolve needed to chart a course for reaching all victims of crime.

The statistics on victimization serve as a reminder of our vulnerability:

– During 2010, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced an estimated 18.7 million violent and property crime victimizations.

– About 50 percent of all violent victimizations and nearly 40 percent of property crimes were reported to the police in 2010.

– In 2010, households in the lowest income category (less than $7,500 per year) had a higher overall property victimization rate compared to households earning $75,000 or more.

– Youth ages 12 to 19 with disabilities experienced violence at nearly twice the rate of those without a disability.

– During 2010, 92,865 persons over the age of 65 were victims of violent crime.

– In 2010, an estimated 8.1 million adults became victims of identity fraud. The leading identity theft complaints to the FTC included government documents and benefits fraud (19 percent), credit card fraud (15 percent), phone or utilities fraud (14 percent), and employment-related fraud (11 percent).

– In 2010, victims age 12 or older experienced a total of 188,380 rapes or sexual assaults.

– Four-fifths (83 percent) of victims in confirmed sex trafficking incidents were identified as U.S. citizens.

– During a one-year period, 3.4 million people ages 18 or older in the United States were stalked.

– In 2009, there were 10,839 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (32 percent of all traffic fatalities) involving a driver with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater.

– In 2009, 17.5 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 had carried a weapon in the previous 30 days, including about 5.9 percent of students who had carried a gun.

– During a one-year period, 46.9 percent of youth ages 14 to 17 had experienced a physical assault, 16.3 percent had been sexually victimized, 16.6 percent had experienced abuse or neglect, and 27.6 percent had experienced a property victimization (including robbery).

The reality of our social situation proves no one can be removed from the equation. Any person, at any time can fall victim to crime – whether it’s violent in nature or an invasion of your privacy. For this reason, we should all be passionate about furthering this movement.

If you or someone you know is a victim of a crime, help is available locally. Contact Toni VanCamp, Tyler County Victim Services Coordinator, by calling 304-758-0869.

Join the cause by promoting, honoring and advocating in your community.