2023 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Theme Video: Effect Change
This 2023 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week theme video demonstrates how elevating and engaging survivors to lift their voices to inform policy and practice can effect change.
ROBERTA ROPER: The event that changed our life forever was the kidnapping, rape, and murder of our oldest child, Stephanie. In 1982, there were no victim advocates, there were no community organizations to help assist you and guide you. You were on your own.
ABRIANNA MORALES: When I was sexually assaulted by a teacher at my school, I had lost a lot of friends. I felt really, really alone and unsupported and really kind of, I don't know, unheard in my experiences. And more than anything I wanted to find someone like myself to relate to.
ROBERTA ROPER: One might think that changing laws, changing policies, or providing services to crime victims would not be so difficult, but it is really a long and arduous journey.
We have seen in Maryland the passage of more than 100 bills to provide rights in the criminal justice process and to provide comprehensive services as well. So, that's something I'm very proud of.
TIMOTHY JONES: I can still see him. I can still smell the cologne. And I can still feel the sheer terror of that night. What I learned when I started speaking was that not only was my voice needed, it was badly needed. This moment is for every single male victim who has come forward. Using my experience to help others, I have seen the programs shift to not only include male voices, but to include LGBT, to include trans. Listening to survivors builds trust.
ABRIANNA MORALES: Having done research at the undergraduate level, I've really fallen in love with it as a tool for resistance and advocacy work. I've done a lot of practice in communities, working with survivors directly. And I've also done policy work here in the state of New Mexico. Those things tend to be quite disparate and separated from one another. And I really think that my goal in this work is really uniting research, practice, and policy in service of sexual violence survivors.
ROBERTA ROPER: Having a survivor's voice heard is critical to change. We have seen great transformation and we should be grateful for the pioneers, the old buffalos who have come before us, and, and build on that.
TIMOTHY JONES: We need more survivors to tell their story. My story, it's not my story anymore. It's our story.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.