Thirty Years: Oh the Possibilities!

Today I completed my final Victim Assistance online training course, the topic of which was Victims’ Rights. I have thus far only known Victims’ Rights in the context of my own case. Somehow it was both invigorating and staggering for me to learn that the bulk of Victims’ Rights work has taken place in my lifetime. In February, I’ll turn thirty. To think that so much change can come about in thirty years is encouraging, to say the least, of what’s possible when individuals unite in passionate support. I hope only that I can play my part in all that I dream to come in the next thirty years. I encourage you to take a look at the Video from my training. It gives a poignant overview of how far we’ve come with the Rights of Victims in the Legal System. For even further encouragement, today also marked the announcement of the $35 million dollar gift from the New York County District Attorney’s Office in the form of a grant open to any and all jurisdictions nationwide to make a dent in the nationwide Rape Kit Backlog and to encourage Congress to pass their proposed $41 million contribution. I believe this to be a pivotal moment in the continuation of the Victim’s Rights Movement because as actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay put it during the press conference, “The backlog sends 2 terrible messages: to victims, to criminals, that it doesn’t matter. Testing the kits reverses those messages.” – For more information, watch the captivating press conference that took place today at noon which included words from Cyrus Vance, Jr., the New York County District Attorney; Mariska Hargitay, founder and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation, Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor who has ended the backlog in Detroit; and Natasha, from Natasha’s Justice Project.

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