The National Center for Victims of Crime 2011 National Conference was held on June 20-22, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conference was a great success and we were so pleased to welcome so many participants.
Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III. A dedicated supporter of crime victims' rights and tireless prosecutor of child abuse cases, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden established the state's Department of Justice Child Predator Unit to track and prosecute child sex offenders, and helped pass legislation to strengthen Delaware's sex offender registry statute. He implemented a Family Division-the first in the country-streamlining law enforcement resources to fight domestic violence, protect Delaware's families, and reduce juvenile crime. He has worked on issues related to missing and exploited children, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. Mr. Biden also served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office in Philadelphia.
LaMarr Darnell Shields, co-founder and president of the Urban Leadership Institute, and Meshelle Shields, "The Indie-Mom of Comedy," presented "The Truth About Urban Trauma," drawing on their personal experiences of urban trauma while growing up in Baltimore City and Chicago, and shared how a greater understanding of inner-city realities can help to enhance services to urban youth across the United States and abroad.
Mark Mandell, Rebecca Roe, and Philip Gerson, leading crime victim civil attorneys explored the case of a victim of sexual assault with a developmental disability in a special "Civil Mock Trial." Conference participants heard the case, deliberate, and voted on a verdict.
Former football star Al Chesley--who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Oakland Raiders, the Chicago Bears, and in Super Bowl XV--will close day III of the conference with a talk about the sexual abuse he experienced as a 13-year-old from a police officer in his Washington, DC, neighborhood. Ashamed of the repeated abuse, Chesley remained silent for years but began sharing his story in 2008. He has advocated for legislation in Delaware, Maryland, Arizona, and Virginia to give greater rights and remedies to victims of child sexual abuse. Since his retirement from the NFL, Chesley has also been working with at risk youth in Washington, and Pittsburgh, with outreach groups such as Each One Reach One.