Proclamation 5797 -- Crime Victims Week, 1988

 

April 18, 1988

 

By the President of the United States of America

 

A Proclamation

 

The principle of liberty and justice for all is one of our Nation's most fundamental goals and responsibilities. The vicious conduct of criminals against innocent, law-abiding citizens, however, continues to victimize millions of Americans each year. Our heritage of liberty and justice for all is threatened by this toll, so all of us -- government officials, the criminal justice system, opinion-makers, and members of the public -- must heed and help crime victims. Crime Victims Week is a fitting time for reflection on ways to assist fully those of us whose unalienable rights have been violated by criminals.

 

Victims of crime carry a burden inconceivable to others, and America is turning its attention to their plight. We must always remember that the responsibility for crimes lies with those who commit them, not with the innocent victims. Seven years ago, my Administration took some first steps toward meeting crime victims' needs. Since then, we have made great progress, with the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, the Attorney General's Task Force on Family Violence, and the President's Child Safety Partnership. The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 established a Crime Victims Fund in the U.S. Treasury that is financed by penalty assessments on all convicted Federal defendants. The same Act also authorized U.S. Attorneys to recover the proceeds of literary endeavors of certain violent criminals.

 

Across our Nation, private citizens and groups, criminal justice personnel, service providers, and victims of crime themselves are helping -- working for legislative reforms, monitoring court procedures, accompanying law officers to crime scenes, offering emotional support to crime victims and their families, and sparing countless people from the unjust burdens imposed by lack of concern or understanding. Those who so successfully attend to the needs and rights of innocent victims of crime deserve our gratitude and our assistance as they seek ``liberty and justice for all.''

 

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 234, has designated the week beginning April 17, 1988, as ``Crime Victims Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

 

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning April 17, 1988, as Crime Victims Week. I urge government officials and all citizens to continue to help crime victims and to treat them with respect, consideration, compassion, and fairness, for the sake of justice and human dignity.

 

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:53 a.m., April 19, 1988]