April 18 through 24 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2010 in the United States. The theme for this year's National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) is Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect. Visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw/welcome.html to learn more.
Since April is Child Abuse Awareness Month as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it seems appropriate to pause and think about these these issues in terms of crimes...and how not very long ago they were not considered crimes at all in the US. And in many countries they are not crimes at all.
Fairness. Dignity. Respect. I recently had a humbling and life-changing opportunity to meet people from 15 different countries doing amazing work to give fairness, dignity and respect and rights to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking across the world. The work these people do is amazing. The obstacles they overcome are daunting. Not only do they lack resources and support for the work they do...their very lives are threatened when they do it.
I was honored to be in the same room as these heroes -- and to hear from them and learn from them what it means to give dignity and respect to people in the most dire of circumstances. (Learn more here: http://vitalvoices.org/human-rights/announcing-global-partnership-end-violence-against-women)
Fairness. Dignity. Respect. We should strive for these in our workplaces...in our homes...in our communities. And when it does not exist for others, let us work to make a world where it does.
Thank you to all of you who do so on a daily basis.
Thank you to you who create workplaces that help victims of violence, workplaces that don't tolerate bullying, workplaces that uplift employees and their gifts and abilities so that your workplaces are actually more productive and viable.
Thank you to you who are parents who create healthy and loving homes for your children. Or as educators or caretakers you create healthy and safe environments for young people.
Thank you to you who work "in the field" to give a voice to those who don't have one...or who cannot speak for themselves.
During National Crime Victims' Rights Week and beyond let us always consider Fairness. Dignity. Respect. -- not only for victims of crime.. but for everyone.