The National Center for Victims of Crime's first National Conference, June 20-June 22, 2005, brought more than 800 practitioners from many disciplines to Washington, DC, to build partnerships and put a sharp focus on crime-victim issues. Featuring an impressive array of national experts and a key policy address by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Conference captured widespread media attention and won enthusiastic praise from participants.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General Gonzales chose the National Center's conference to deliver his first major remarks on offender sentencing since becoming attorney general. Citing the plight of victims, he argued that the Supreme Court's January decision to ease sen tencing guidelines had led to lighter sentences for some criminals. "This trend is troubling to me and should be troubling to all victims of crime," he said.
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD, MPH, opened the conference with a powerful presentation that explored violence as a public health problem, showcased successful Boston-area prevention programs with youth, and discussed the nexus between public health and victim assistance
Kim Goldman Hahn, sister of homicide victim Ron Goldman, described the chaos and pain that followed her brother's death and the healing power of the family's civil suit against O.J. Simpson.
Frank Ochberg, MD; Angela Diaz, MD, MPH; and Carol Jordan shared how growing knowledge of the impact of trauma guides experts helping victims restore their lives.
Amy Herdy and Miles Moffeit who covered the military's mishandling of sexual assault and domestic violence, and Penny Cockerell, who covered the Oklahoma City bombing, shared the platform with Sally Griffiths, a Marine who survived both rape and the military's refusal to prosecute the offender. With Frank Ochberg, MD, and Migael Scherer of the DART Center for Journalism and Trauma, the panel outlined how journalists can get the facts while treating victims with respect.