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One-of-a-kind national conference explores victims’ rights

May 30, 2012

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    Meg Garvin, executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute

Portland, Oregon

Recent high-profile media coverage—such as the Penn State child abuse case against Jerry Sandusky—highlights the need for victims to have rights, including the rights to privacy and protection during investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator.

On June 8 and 9, Portland will host the country’s only national conference devoted to crime victim issues. The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) will convene attorneys, legal experts, and advocates from across the country for a conference titled Enhancing Justice: Empowerment Through Victims’ Rights. NCVLI, an organization based at Lewis & Clark Law School, is focused on victims’ rights legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing.

More than 150 people from 20 states will look at cutting-edge issues in crime victims’ rights, focusing on victimizations including human trafficking, elder abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Woven throughout the conference are sessions on the impact of trauma, taught by nationally recognized experts David Lisak and Judith Herman.

“Victims of crime experience the criminal justice system in one of two ways—as a revictimization or as empowerment on their path to healing,” said Meg Garvin, executive director of NCVLI and clinical law professor at Lewis & Clark Law School. “Victims’ rights enforcement, which is what we teach at this conference, helps ensure that their experience is the latter.”

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