Congressman Charles B. Rangel released the following statement in recognition of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which takes place during the week of April 22-28 this year:
"I am proud to stand in solidarity with the men and women who have worked hard in recent years to improve the conditions and civil liberties of those who have found themselves victimized by criminals who prey on the weak in our communities. Anyone who is a victim of a crime deserves to be protected from his or her assailants. That is why I have long been a supporter of victims' rights, particularly in my support for the Violence Against Women Act.
Victims' rights advocates have made great strides in the last few decades. Since the creation of the Office for Victims of Crime in 1984, communities across the nation have adopted policies that protect victims' rights, and all states have victim compensation funds. We could not have accomplished this much without organizations such as the Urban Justice Center, the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, and the Legal Aid Society of New York.
Crime victims can take advantage of benefits by contacting the New York Office of Victim Services online at http://www.ovs.ny.gov/home.aspx and can seek treatment by calling the Safe Horizons General Victims Hotline at 866-689-4537 or by contacting the Harlem Hospital Center for Victim Support at 212-939-4613.
While we have made much progress, we must continue to expand our vision so as to reach every victim of criminal activity. Only a fraction of victims receive compensation, and fewer than 20 percent of victims receive needed services. You can get involved in this national effort through the National Center for Victims of Crime, at http://ncvc.org. Protecting the rights of crime victims is a sure way to make our communities safer. It is only a question of how committed we are to protecting the most vulnerable."