National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Events

Julia Schast '17
Guest Columnist

In recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), taking place April 2–8, 2017, the Domestic Violence Project (DVP) at the University of Virginia School of Law is hosting a series of events both on and off grounds. Students and faculty are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to attend. 

The 2017 NCVRW theme is “Strength. Resilience. Justice.” This theme reflects a vision for the future, in which all victims are strengthened by the responses they receive, organizations are resilient in responding to challenges, and our communities are able to seek collective justice and healing. 

DVP is specifically focused on inclusivity and helping people find common ground at the intersection of their varied personal interests and concerns. To that end, DVP will be sponsoring the following events during NCVRW:

(1) Community Day Booth

Where: Sprint Pavilion at the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville

When: Sunday, April 2nd 1–4pm

What: Local and state organizations involved with different aspects of victims’ rights will gather as part of an annual Community Day held during NCVRW to show their solidarity with the community and support awareness for victims’ rights. These groups include the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Offender Aid and Restoration, and the UVa and Albemarle Police Departments.

DVP will attend to pass out informational materials to adults about local resources for victims and will provide face-painting for their accompanying children. 

Admission to the event is free and the afternoon will include music, games, food, contests, and prizes. 

(2) NCVRW Awareness Tabling and Raffle Entry

Where: Table #3 in Hunton & Williams Hallway outside of Scott Commons in UVa Law School, Charlottesville

When: Monday, April 3rd – Friday, April 7th from 10:00am–3:00pm

What: DVP will be selling raffle tickets ($2 each), T-shirts, and other awareness merchandise (e.g. pins, bracelets, temporary tattoos). All proceeds will be donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). 

Since January 1st 2017, there have been 145 domestic violence gun-related fatalities. That is approximately one death every fourteen hours, committed by a spouse, ex-spouse, or dating partner. That doesn’t even account for violence committed without the use of a firearm. In response to these extremely troubling statistics, the NCADV is committed to serving as a voice for victims of domestic violence by adopting the following mission: “We are the catalyst for changing society to have zero tolerance for domestic violence.  We do this by affecting public policy, increasing understanding of the impact of domestic violence, and providing programs and education that drive that change.”

Current raffle prizes include:

two leather laptop bags from Lo & Sons (worth $428 each); two gift cards to Cville Coffee ($15 each); two gift cards to Greenberry’s ($25 each); two gift cards to Sedona Taphouse ($25 each); one gift card to Mudhouse ($20). 

Make sure to stop by the table during NCVRW to receive an updated list of available prizes and enter the raffle for a chance to win. There is no limit on the number of tickets each person can purchase. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 7th. 

 (3) Profit-Share Fundraiser at Mezeh Mediterranean Grill

Where: Mezeh Mediterranean Grill at 2015 Bond Street in the Stonefield Shopping Center, Charlottesville 

When: Tuesday, April 2nd from 5:30–8:30pm

What: Mezeh will donate 15% of each meal purchased by customers who mention DVP’s name at check-out and add their receipt to the fundraiser basket. All proceeds will go to the Charlottesville Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE). In addition to providing temporary housing, SHE provides comprehensive social services, including legal referrals, to both adult and child victims of domestic violence. All details and a link to commit to eat at Mezeh during the fundraiser can be found on DVP’s Facebook Page. 

(4) Beyond Gender: Combating the Effects of the Traditional Gender Narrative on Domestic Violence

Where: Purcell Reading Room in UVa Law School, Charlottesville

When: Wednesday, April 5th from 10:30-11:45am

What: DVP is hosting a panel discussion about how gender stereotypes and heteronormative perceptions of domestic violence have impacted efforts to both prevent and respond to instances of interpersonal violence. The panelists will address these issues in the context of the factors that lead to under-reporting by victims, the recently implemented Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP) being used by Charlottesville police, the evidentiary challenges that arise during prosecution, and the warning signs of an abusive interpersonal relationship. 

Panelists include:

Major Laura O’Donnell (JAG School); Robin Jackson (Legal Advocate/Outreach Counselor at SHE); Jon Zug (Albemarle Circuit Court Clerk; former Assistant
Commonwealth Attorney); Neal Goodloe (Client Services Consultant at Northpointe, Inc. for
correctional systems)

Light refreshments will be served to all attendees, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. All details can be found on DVP’s Facebook Page.

(5) National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Intersectionality Lunch

Where: Caplin Pavilion in UVa Law School, Charlottesville

When: Wednesday, April 5th from 12:00-2:30pm

What: DVP is hosting a luncheon for all UVa students and faculty to discuss the legal and social struggles facing victims of different crimes. The purpose of this event is to provide a forum for students to interact with professors and visiting practitioners about intersecting aspects of victimization. 

The event will begin with a welcome from Dean Risa Goluboff, followed by an address from keynote speaker Tim Heaphy, a current partner at Hunton & Williams and former United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. Students will then have the opportunity to move freely among the professors and guest speakers stationed throughout the room to discuss the interplay among different types of crime and victims, in accordance with each speakers’ area of expertise. Topics of interest will include sexual assault, police misconduct, government corruption and white collar crime, juvenile justice, wrongful convictions and the death penalty, and discriminatory crime based on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and both physical and mental disability. 

A buffet lunch will be provided to all attendees and will include vegetarian options. Students interested in or committed to attending are encouraged to RSVP by Monday, April 3rd through the following link:

That link, along with event details, can also be accessed on DVP’s Facebook Page. 

DVP is so pleased to be offering such an exciting array of opportunities for students to get involved with this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Questions about attending any of the above events can be directed to Julia Schast (