WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Eric Holder recognized a domestic violence counselor with the National Crime Victim Service Award today at the 2012 annual victims' service awards ceremony, a prelude to the nation's observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 22-28, 2012.
"This year's 12 awardees have touched, improved and even saved lives. Perhaps most impressively, many of today's award recipients have achieved these results by transforming their own experiences into a positive force for sweeping change," said Attorney General Holder. "Every one of them deserves the commendation that is being bestowed today – not only for their remarkable contributions in responding to protecting and defending crime victims and their loved ones but also for the examples they have set for others to follow."
Victoria Cruz, senior domestic violence counselor/advocate at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, received the award for passionately advocating on behalf of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) survivors of violence. She is a leading voice against sexual, dating and intimate partner violence. She brings attention to violence against LGBTQH communities to law enforcement, the court system, the shelter system, the public benefits system, and the health care system to ensure that LGBTQH survivors obtain the services they need without bias or prejudice. The National Crime Victim Service Award honors individuals and programs for their extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims.
In addition to Victoria Cruz, Attorney General Holder recognized the efforts of eleven other recipients for their extraordinary efforts in the aftermath of a crime, as well as their professional efforts to better serve the needs of victims with disabilities; for assisting U.S. citizens victimized outside the United States; and for ensuring victims receive compensation and other services at the state and local level.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice - Office of Justice Programs