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    April 10, 2001
 

                         NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK, 2001
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                    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                                      A PROCLAMATION

                      Every day, Americans are making progress both in the fight against crime
                 and in the effort to ensure fair and compassionate treatment of victims and their
                 families.  Dedicated volunteers, health care professionals, counselors, and law
                 enforcement per-sonnel in communities large and small are raising the public's
                 awareness that victims have important rights.

                      Decreasing crime rates are encouraging, but we are far from winning the war
                 against crime.  According to the most recent National Crime Victimization
                 Survey, nearly 29 million people were victimized by crime in 1999, including
                 more than 7 million victims of violent crime.  Americans cannot afford to be
                 complacent.  All of us must continue efforts to stop crime and to improve
                 services for those harmed by crime.

                      The voices of our Nation's victims continue to have a powerful effect in
                 changing laws, policies, and attitudes to promote victims' rights and
                 services.  They encourage every person in America to take a stand and to lend
                 their support. My Administration is committed to improving public safety and to
                 providing justice for all who have been victimized.  We will fight for public
                 policies that prevent crimes.  We will steadfastly support those responsible for
                 enforcing the laws and protecting the innocent.  And we will attempt to see that
                 offenders, not victims, pay the high cost of crime.

                      Our Nation's commitment to crime victim assistance grows stronger every
                 year, with thousands of programs in place to provide help and hope. My
                 Administration is committed to expanding opportunities for faith-based and
                 charitable organi-zations dedi-cated to serving persons in need.  Crime victims
                 often turn to faith-based organizations for assistance and support during times of
                 crisis, and religious leaders and communities are vital links in our national
                 network of victim services.

                      This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights
                 Week.  The campaign to win rights for victims parallels other grassroots
                 movements in our Nation's history. These crusades most frequently began as
                 small local movements led by groups of passionate individuals who spoke out in
                 protest when they saw inequities.  During this week, let us join in the effort to
                 establish fair legal rights and services for crime victims.

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                      NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United
                 States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of
                 the United States, do hereby proclaim April 22 through 28, 2001, as National
                 Crime Victims' Rights Week.  I urge all Americans to share the burden of
                 reducing crime in their communities and to follow the example of those who
                 have helped establish rights and improve services for victims.

                      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of
                 April, in the year of our Lord two thousand one, and of the Independence of
                 the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fifth.

                                               GEORGE W. BUSH

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