This issue of the Crime Victim Services Division e-Newsletter discusses community activities across Texas for the observance of National Crime Victim Rights Week, April 26-May 2, 2009. This year's theme – "25 Years of Rebuilding Lives: Celebrating the Victims of Crime Act" – echoes the mission of the Division and reminds us that 25 years ago, victims had little help.
When it was enacted in 1984, The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) established fair treatment standards for victims as well as a fund that provides financial assistance to state crime victims' advocacy and compensation programs. Since the Office of the Attorney General began administering the compensation program in 1991, we have received and distributed almost $300 million in VOCA compensation funding for Texas crime victims.
VOCA also helps millions of victims via direct service grants to advocacy organizations and law enforcement. Twenty-five years ago, a victim might have faced the emotional, financial, and physical trauma of violence, alone. Now VOCA grant funding provides vital support to assistance programs that help victims all across Texas.
Finally, I invite you to attend our Crime Victim Services Division Conference in Austin on November 19-21, 2009. This multidisciplinary training offers foundation courses as well as cutting edge training for seasoned advocates. Most importantly, it offers the opportunity for advocates of all disciplines to network and collaborate, ensuring that we are working together to rebuild the lives of victims and their families.
Attorney General of Texas