Victims' Rights March 2012 will be 6-7:30 p.m. April 25, part of the nationwide recognition of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The week, observed April 22-28, is designated as a time to honor crime victims and our nation's progress in advancing their rights.
This year's theme—"Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim"—celebrates the effort behind that progress and reflects the desire to assist all victims of crime. The vision that launched the victims' rights movement emerged more than 30 years ago. Since the 1980's, the nation has made dramatic progress in securing rights, protections and services for victims of crime. Every state has enacted victims' rights laws and 32 states, including California have constitutional victims' rights amendments.
There is still much to do. Victim rights are not universal and are often not enforced. More than 50 percent of crimes are not reported, and not all victims receive needed services. Yet victim advocates have not lost their resolve. The Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office is committed to the vision, determination and passion for justice that victim advocates work for.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week gives an annual opportunity to engage the public in the struggle for victims' rights. March participants meet at the courthouse steps located at 701 Ocean St. and proceed down Pacific Avenue, ending at the Town Clock. Speakers are Bob Lee, District Attorney; Analicia Cube, co-founder of Take Back Santa Cruz; and Stacey Reynolds, mother of homicide victim Robbie Reynolds and co-founder of the Santa Cruz Chapter of Compassionate Friends. Family members and friends will carry enlarged photos honoring the memory of loved ones who died due to homicide. People who want to participate can bring a personal photo of loved ones who have died due to crime. The photos should be 8-by-10 to 16-by-20 in size