On April 24, 2023, the District Attorney’s Office hosted a luncheon for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Members of community-based organizations and law enforcement agencies were present to show their support to crime victims and their families.
During the luncheon District Attorney George Marquez, Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Brooker, and the Director of the Victim Witness Assistance Program Melissa Lopez-Moore addressed the audience. District Attorney Marquez presented the first annual “Recognition of Resilience” plaque to victims of crime.
The Hernandez family of Brawley has presented the plaque for their resiliency for the loss of their loved one, Daniel Hernandez, who was the victim of a homicide in 2018 and whose killer was successfully prosecuted by the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office and sentenced to 35 years to life in prison.
The first Crime Victims Week (later renamed National Crime Victims’ Rights Week) was established by Ronald Reagan in 1981 as a part of an expanding initiative to provide for victims of crimes. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) leads the nation in the observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Communities across the nation sponsor local events to mark the week and raise awareness about victims’ rights and services.
The 2023 theme—Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change. —calls upon communities to amplify the voices of survivors and commit to creating an environment where survivors have the confidence that they will be heard, believed, and supported.
Every person deserves to feel safe in their home, school, workplace, and community. Yet each year, millions of Americans fall victim to acts of violence, theft, fraud, and other crimes. Often, the pain and trauma can have long-term impacts. During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the country recommits to the work of preventing crime, supporting victims as they heal, and holding offenders accountable.
“Supporting crime victims also requires building trust between the public and law enforcement. When someone falls victim to a crime, first responders should have the resources they need to ensure victims feel heard, valued, and supported. We have provided States with over $10 billion to improve law enforcement training, fund community violence interventions, purchase necessary equipment like body-worn cameras, clear court backlogs, and support crime victims,” President Joe Biden stated. “My Safer America Plan calls for an additional $37 billion to prevent crime, reduce gun violence, and create a fairer justice system — including by hiring 100,000 more officers for safe, effective, and accountable community policing, consistent with the standards of my policing Executive Order, which will also help strengthen public trust in law enforcement.”