With legal rights for crime victims established in Texas since 1989, Crime Victims First is leading efforts to recognize victims' rights as legal rights, and holding those working with victims of crime more accountable. CV1 is focusing on promoting and protecting victims' rights, improving the treatment of victims/survivors, and preventing rights violations through education, advocacy, and enforcement. Several states are recognizing the need to create resources for receiving and resolving complaints and for improving accountability. Crime Victims First is on the forefront of victims' rights compliance and enforcement in Texas, and we recognize Your Voice is Vital.
All states have statutory rights and a majority amended their constitutions to strengthen those legal protections for victims of crime. Although there has been progress, there remains a lack of awareness, understanding, and enforcement of victims' rights. Therefore, victims' rights violations can and do occur, but often there are limited solutions. This is beginning to change. At the federal level, a victims' rights ombudsman was created in 2004, to receive and resolve victims' rights complaints by victims of federal crimes against federal employees. Several states have victims' rights legal clinics that operate as advocacy and enforcement programs. Research indicates that the majority of complaints are resolved by providing information or referrals. Those that are not resolved go forward to a formal complaint and investigation process. Some states authorize the investigatory agency to impose consequences on individuals or agencies with substantiated rights violations.
Take ActionCrime Victims First is the first Victims' Rights Resource Center in Texas, and provides information and resources to help resolve victims' rights issues and concerns. We also provide access to our online complaint system and training programs to educate, advocate and enforce your rights. However, we need support to increase awareness about these challenges and to secure donations, so we can continue to learn, grow, and change.