Hundreds of crime victims and their families marched on the steps of the State Capitol Tuesday morning in a call to action for victims. Organized by Crime Victims United of California (CVUC) participants walked from the Sacramento Tower Bridge to the Capitol as they mourned their loved ones and honored those who have supported victims.
Citing Senator Jim Nielsen’s (R-Gerber) passion and persistent pursuit for justice, CVUC named him “Legislator of the Year.”
“In all my years of public service, the fight to bring justice for crime victims and their loved ones is always in my mind,” Nielsen said in accepting his award. “Their voices and rights must always be a priority in the Legislature.”
As part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Tuesday’s march is a display of strength for victims and their supporters. Themed “30 Years: Restoring the Balance of Justice,” organizers commemorated the 30-year anniversary of the passage of the Victims of Crime Act in 1984.
Tuesday’s march also attracted speakers including Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Lou Correa, Assembly members Ken Cooley, Mike Gatto and Eric Linder as well as Marc Klaas and Nina Salarno.
In the most recent data available by the California Department of Justice, 160,629 Californians were victims of violent crimes in 2012, including:
- 1,878 homicides
- 7,828 forcible rapes
- 56,491 robberies
- 94,432 aggravated assaults
“Far too often, career criminals’ rights are given more consideration than the citizens they harmed. This must stop. We must continue the fight to bring victims’ rights to the forefront of all policy deliberation,” Nielsen concluded.
In presenting the award, Harriet C. Salarno, Chair of CVUC, praised Senator Nielsen for his many years of dedication to victims’ rights.
“From his years as Chairman of the Board of Prison Terms to his service in the Legislature, Senator Nielsen has always voiced the needs of victims and their supporters. In his service, he consistently aims to strengthen victims’ rights laws.”