Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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April 14, 2008

Governor Rounds Declares April 13-19 as
Crime Victims' Rights Week in South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. Governor Mike Rounds has declared April 13-19 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week in the state of South Dakota.

“Crime Victims’ Rights week provides an opportunity for South Dakota to recognize victims of violent crimes and those who serve them during this week and throughout the year,” stated Crystal Greving, program director for the Department of Social Services’ Crime Victims’ Compensation Program.

Twenty-three million Americans are victims of crime each year, and of those, 5.2 million are victims of violent crime. The Crime Victims Compensation program provides financial assistance to victims of violent crimes including reimbursement for medical expenses, counseling and lost wages. The funds used to provide assistance to violent crime victims comes from fines and penalties paid on misdemeanor and felony charges. In 2007, there were nearly 300 victims who applied for assistance with the Department of Social Services’ Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, and over $540,000 in assistance was awarded to those victims. Typically, the three largest expenses are medical, funeral and counseling expenses.

As South Dakotans, we acknowledge the impact crimes have on individuals, families, and communities by ensuring that rights, resources, and services are available to help rebuild lives.

Observing victims’ rights and treating victims with dignity and respect serves the public interest by engaging victims in the justice system, inspiring respect for public authorities and promoting confidence in public safety.

For more information on the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, visit Elderly Services or call 1-800-696-9476.