Crime victims' rights recognized at Wisconsin State Capitol - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Crime victims' rights recognized at Wisconsin State Capitol

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Attorney General Brad Schimel recognized National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a public ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol Thursday.

The ceremony, which is co-hosted by the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council and the Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services, recognizes the importance of the state’s crime victim rights in Wisconsin’s constitution and statutes.

During the ceremony, Schimel was joined by a number of victims who have taken part in the Untold Stories program at the LOTUS Legal Clinic. The program is a way for survivors to share their stories of surviving human trafficking and practicing their constitutional rights.

Wisconsin’s Victims of Crime Constitutional Amendment, ratified in 1993, gives victims comprehensive rights, such as the right to attend proceedings and to make statements to the court.

"We can't hold offenders accountable if victims aren't willing to stand up for their rights, come forward, and participate and help us," said Schimel.

In 2017, DOJ provided $27.4 million to crime victims in all 72 counties. The funding is allocated through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) victim assistance grant to private and public agencies, including district attorney’s offices, to support direct services to victims of crime.

Services provided under this program include safety planning, community service referrals, counseling, crisis intervention, and legal advocacy.

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