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National Crime Victims’ Rights Week – Engaging Communities, Empowering Victims

PHOENIX, NY – During the week of April 19 through 25, communities and victim service providers across the United States will be hosting events and campaigns in recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The goal of this awareness week is to promote victims’ rights and honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.

Every year, Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families Program, Oswego County’s domestic violence and rape crisis program, plants a tree to honor victims of crime during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The tree is used as a symbol to represent renewal and hope to those whose lives have been affected by crime in our community.

The goal is to plant a tree in all the towns, villages, and cities within Oswego County. Thus far, SAF has planted 13 trees throughout Oswego County, most recently in the villages of Hannibal and Central Square.

This year, we recognize and celebrate new efforts to reach more victims by expanding partnerships to new communities.

That is why we have chosen to plant this year’s tree in the village of Phoenix.

The ceremony will take place on April 22 at 4 p.m. at the William J. Farley Jr. Community Park, located at the corner of Chestnut Street and County Route 57.

The program will include remarks by Phoenix Mayor, the honorable Ryan Wood, police chief Martin Nerber, a member of the SAF staff, other local dignitaries, and poem readings by local high school students.

Phoenix Flower Farm has graciously donated an Oak tree that will be dedicated during the ceremony.

The theme for 2015 – Engaging Communities, Empowering Victims – provides an opportunity to recommit ourselves and engage community leaders and organizations in the work to support crime victims.

When we better learn how to meet the needs of underserved victims, and help new communities understand the impact of victimization and the assistance that is available, we expand victims’ options.

In 1984, Congress passed the bipartisan Victims of Crime Act, which created a national fund to ease victims’ suffering.

Financed not by taxpayers but by fines and penalties paid by offenders, the Crime Victims Fund supports victim services, such as rape crisis and domestic violence programs and victim compensation programs that pay many of victims’ out-of-pocket expenses from the crime, such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

SAF provides victim advocates that assist victims in receiving crime victims’ compensation through the New York State Office of Victim Services.

To learn more about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit: http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw

For more information about how you can get involved, to learn more about domestic and sexual violence, or if you or someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or stalking please call the Crisis Hotline at (315) 342-1600.

This free and confidential hotline is staffed by trained counselors and is available 24 hours a day.

SAF is funded through grants from the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women and the New York State Department of Health.

OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.

A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.

For more information, visit www.oco.org