Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HARDY MYERS AND OTHERS TO COMMEMORATE NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK, MONDAY, APRIL 14

April 11, 2008

Attorney General Hardy Myers, joined by other supporters of crime victims, will kick off National Crime Victims' Rights Week at 11:30 a.m., Monday, April 14, 2008, at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training offices located at 4190 Aumsville Highway, SE in Salem. (See driving directions below)

Monday's event will highlight the thirty-year anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Crime Victims' Assistance Section (CVAS), celebrate the growth of crime victims' rights and services throughout that time period, and advocate for continued action.

"The lives of crime victims have been greatly improved in Oregon over recent decades, and that is cause for celebration," stated Myers. "We cannot lose sight, however, of the significance of the work we still need to do," he added.

Since passage of Oregon's crime victims' compensation law in 1977, services and resources to aid crime victims have grown steadily at the federal, state and local levels, including non-profit community-based organizations. CVAS was established originally as a program to reimburse victims for certain costs incurred as the result of crime and, in its first year of operation, paid just over $1 million in about 700 compensation claims. In 2005-2007, nearly $7 million was paid in compensation to over 10,000 victims. Examples of services eligible for reimbursement include medical bills and funeral expenses.

Today, a broad range of services are available across the state to victims of crime. Victims' advocates work alongside p rosecutors, defense attorneys and law enforcement; restitution is ordered, collected and distributed to victims; information about the p rosecution, appeal and release of a convicted offender is available; and, perhaps most importantly, a network of locally operated service providers of shelter and other services operate in communities across Oregon to address the immediate needs of crime victims.

Important law changes have strengthened the rights of crime victims. In 1999, the Oregon Constitution was amended by the people to include the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights, and numerous state laws have enhanced the rights of victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. On May 20, the people of Oregon will consider two ballot measures, referred by the 2007 regular session of the Oregon Legislature that would enable crime victims to enforce judicially their rights in the Oregon Constitution's Bill of Rights.

Myers hopes Monday's commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights Week will inspire attendees to build on the long list of accomplishments and continue working to improve the lives of crime victims. He will also announce an important change in the organizational status of CVAS within DOJ.

A reception from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. will immediately follow the formal program at Monday's event. The commemoration is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

Directions to the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training:

Traveling Southbound:
Follow I-5 south toward Salem.
Take the OR-99E Business/OR-22 Exit 253 toward Stayton/Detroit Lake
Turn left onto OR-22/OR-99D onto N. Santiam Hwy.
Continue to follow OR-22/N Santiam Hwy.
> Take the Lancaster Drive Exit "2" toward Turner
Turn right onto Lancaster Drive SE
Lancaster Drive becomes Aumsville Hwy SE
End at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE on the left

Traveling Northbound:
Follow I-5 north toward Salem
Take the Kuebler Blvd. Ext 252
Turn right onto Kuebler Blvd. SE
Turn right onto Aumsville Hwy SE
End at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE on the left

Traveling from Detroit Lake / Central Oregon Area:
OR-22 West/N Santiam Hwy SE
Take Lancaster Drive Exit "2"
Turn left onto Lancaster Drive SE
Lancaster Drive becomes Aumsville Hwy SE
End at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE on the left

Contact:

Stephanie Soden, (503) 378-6002
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