Justice Department honors Healing Arts Program for Tribal sexual assault victims

MAYETTA, Kan., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of Justice will honor the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s Tribal Victim Services program for creating a healing arts program for sexual assault victims.  Attorney General Eric Holder will present the program with an award during the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

“These committed individuals are being honored for their dedication to assisting and supporting victims of crime all across the country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder . “Their actions inspire all Americans, to do what we can, each in our own way, to help lessen the physical, emotional and financial impacts of crime on people in our communities.”

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s Tribal Victim Services (TVS) program will receive the Professional Innovation in Victim Services Award, recognizing a program, organization or individual who helped to expand the reach of victims’ rights and services.  

TVS developed a program to encourage cultural healing through art to assist tribal crime victims in sharing their experiences, thoughts and fears.  They created an artistic “tree” for healing called the Community Story Tree Project, which consists of 72 canvas panels representing the community’s hopes and dreams for tribal families, survivors, children, service providers, professional elders and tribal leaders.

In addition to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Attorney General Holder will recognize 12 other individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts on behalf of crime victims.  Descriptions and videos of the honorees are available at the Office for Victims of Crime’s Gallery: https://ovcncvrw.ncjrs.gov/Awards/AwardGallery/gallerysearch.html.

President Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for renewed emphasis on, and sensitivity to, the rights of victims.  National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be observed this year from April 21-27.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), 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. For more information about OJP, please visit: www.ojp.gov.