• This year's National Crime Victims' Rights Week theme is “How would you help? Options, services, and hope for crime survivors."

  • It is critical that we all work to create safe environments for crime victims to share what happened to them; by doing so, we're able to offer support, options for life-saving services and hope.

  • All DMACC activities supporting National Crime Victims' Rights Week are FREE to attend and open to the public; a complete list of planned activities across the College can be found at ncvrw.dmacc.edu​.

DMACC will honor crime victims and survivors by hosting a series of free educational and awareness-focused activities April 1-4 in support of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW), which takes place at the end of April this year.

National Crime Victims' Rights Week has been observed in Iowa and across the nation every April since 1981, with a goal of raising awareness of crime victims' issues and rights and introducing community members to available resources and services in their area.

“We are a community first and foremost at DMACC," said Dr. Samantha O'Hara, a DMACC Criminal Justice Professor at the College's Ankeny Campus. “And as a community, it's crucial that we listen to victims and support them throughout the criminal justice process and beyond. By providing a variety of educational and awareness-building opportunities, our goal is to help everyone feel more connected to available resources and services."  

According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were more than 6.6 million violent victimizations of persons age 12 or older in the United States in 2022, up from 4.6 million the year before. Additionally, only about 2 in 5 (42 percent) of violent victimizations were reported to police in 2022, the most recent year with complete data available.

How would you help?

The 2024 NCVRW theme – How would you help? Options, services, and hope for crime survivors – asks all of us how we can help crime victims. Do you know the services available in your local community? Are you prepared if someone you know tells you about a victimization? Does your organization use trauma-informed strategies? How can we all work to create supportive and safe environments for crime victims to share what happened, access services and perhaps find healing?

As a reflection of this theme, DMACC will host a variety of activities, April 1-4, to help share information about victims' rights and resources and to underscore the importance of listening to survivors' voices in every space where decisions are made.

Activities will range from a presentation on “The Cari Farver Homicide: A Cold Case in the Digital Age" from Special Deputy Anthony Kava with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office and as seen in the Netflix documentary “Lover, Stalker, Killer" (April 1, DMACC Ankeny Campus) to a story walk for the book "Catching Flight: Soaring on the W​ings of Birds​" by Rebekah Lowell (April 2, DMACC Boone Campus) to a Domestic Violence Simulation presented by Children & Families of Iowa (April 4, DMACC Ames Hunziker Center).

A complete listing of DMACC NCVRW activities can be found at ncvrw.dmacc.edu, including events happening at each of the following DMACC locations:

Participating DMACC programs include Criminal Justice, Sociology and Psychology in the College's Public and Community Services Pathway; Fashion, Graphic Design and Culinary Arts in the DMACC Design, Media and Arts Pathway; and Welding in the DMACC Engineering and Manufacturing Pathway. Additionally, the DMACC Boone Campus Social Justice Club, DMACC Campus Chronicle student newspaper, DMACC Criminal Justice Club, DMACC Counseling Services, DMACC Libraries, DMACC Fashion Design Club and DMACC Student Activities Councils are collaborating and supporting this important observance.

All DMACC community members, as well as the members of the general public, are welcome and encouraged to attend. Media members interested in covering any of the activities should contact Lisa Schmitz at (515) 964-6813 or lmschmitz@dmacc.edu.       

Get more information

In addition to planned activities at DMACC, visit ncvrw.dmacc.edu for more information about culturally specific and local resources for victims, as well as details about other activities happening in Central Iowa and a link to a DMACC Campus Chronicle article about NCVRW.

For more information about DMACC activities honoring crime victims and survivors, please contact Dr. Samantha O'Hara at (515) 964-6667 or sjohara@dmacc.edu.

For more information on how to create your own public campaigns to raise awareness for crime victims' rights online and at events, visit https://ovc.ojp.gov/program/national-crime-victims-rights-week/overview.​