WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Eric Holder recognized a Sexual Assault Resource Service (SARS) director with the National Crime Victim Service Award today at the 2012 annual victim 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."
Dr. Linda Ledray received the honor for her more than 35 years of devoted service to sexual assault victims and survivors. In 1977, Ledray created one of the first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs, and has since trained SANEs throughout the United States and around the world. In 1992, she convened the first Minneapolis meeting of SANEs, resulting in the creation of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). In 2001, she developed the first SANE-Adult/Adolescent International certification and coordinated the first National Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Training Conference for more than 650 professionals working with victims of sexual assault. She is currently developing a SANE program which features both an online training program and a clinical practicum for use in rural areas, particularly Indian Country.
The National Crime Victim Service Award honors individuals and programs for their extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims. Through Dr. Ledray's research-oriented approach and innovative thinking, the course of recovery for survivors of sexual assault has changed. Countless victims of sexual assault have benefited from Dr. Ledray's enduring commitment to high-quality and well-coordinated services in the aftermath of violent crime.
In addition to Dr. Linda Ledray, 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