Thursday, April 14, 2005

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Attorney General Abbott Honors Crime Victims At Tree Planting Ceremony On Capitol Grounds

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today joined other public officials, law enforcement officers and victims’ rights advocates in planting a tree on the State Capitol grounds honoring crime victims, survivors, missing loved ones and those who serve them. Abbott also received a plaque from victims’ advocacy groups in recognition of his work to help victims of crime.

The ceremony, sponsored by People Against Violent Crime, was conducted as part of Texas Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is observed April 10-16.

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“As Attorney General, one of my top priorities is serving victims of crime throughout Texas,” Abbott said. “Partnerships are crucial in helping victims make the long journey to becoming survivors, and our actions today symbolize our continuing commitment to this great task.”

The Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services Division serves victims of crime by administering the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund and related grants, as well as offering training and outreach programs.

Last year, the Attorney General provided almost $73 million from the Fund to help many of these victims shoulder medical and other expenses related to the crimes committed against them. The Crime Victim Services Division also administered more than $30 million in funding for local and statewide victim assistance programs, such as rape crisis centers and family violence shelters. The money helped these and other groups fund more than 1,300 victim assistance positions and serve 180,000 victims.

The tree planted was a Texas Mountain Laurel. People Against Violent Crime works to ensure the rights of crime victims and coordinates with victim service providers, law enforcement agencies and criminal justice agencies to help make certain that adequate resources are available to all victims of crime. Other participants in the ceremony included the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, the Austin Police Department, Texans for Equal Justice, For the Love of Christi and Mothers Against Drunk Driving-Heart of Texas Chapter.

More information about the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services Division is available by calling (800) 252-8011 or by visiting the Attorney General’s Web site: www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.