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April 9, 2004

L&I sets aside a day to recognize the victims of violent crime

TUMWATER — Washington will join with the rest of the nation the week of April 19 to recognize the victims of violent crime. On Wednesday, April 21, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) will host the state’s annual Crime Victims Awareness Day.

This year’s program — “Victims’ Rights: America’s Values” — will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in L&I’s Tumwater auditorium, located at 7273 Linderson Way SW in Tumwater. The annual program is designed to promote a greater understanding of victims’ needs and raise awareness of the services and support available to them.

This year’s featured speakers include Robin Newton, formerly of the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, who was the victim of a stalker, and Seattle Police Det. Rande Christiansen. Newton will talk about stalking from a survivor’s standpoint. Christiansen’s speech will explain how police investigate a stalking case.

The afternoon session will cover school safety and bullying, and surviving the trauma that results from a sexual assault. Speakers include Denise Fitch, administrator, Washington State School Safety Center; Jim Howie, a Lacey Elementary School counselor; and Lucy Berliner, Director of the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress. Joining them will be Paul Trause, director of L&I, and Cletus Nnanabu, who manages L&I’s Crime Victims Compensation Program.

Though registration isn’t required, L&I asks that for planning purposes, those planning to attend contact the Crime Victims Compensation Program at 360-902-5341.

Labor & Industries has run the assistance program since it was established in 1974. Annually, the program receives nearly 6,000 requests for assistance. The largest categories are rape and domestic assaults, and nearly 70 percent of the victims are women and children.

This is the 24th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

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For media information: Robert T. Nelson, L&I Public Affairs, 360-902-6043 or nelq@LNI.wa.gov.

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