[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 30, Number 17 (Monday, May 2, 1994)] [Pages 908-909] [Online from the Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov] <R04> Proclamation 6678--National Crime Victims' Rights Week, 1994 April 25, 1994 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Every day, our Nation's peace is shattered by crime. Violent crime and the fear it provokes are crippling our society, limiting our personal freedom, and fraying the ties that bind us. No corner of America, it often seems, is safe from increasing levels of criminal violence. And more and more, the victims of these crimes are random targets of assaults stemming from a serious breakdown of values in our families and our communities. National Crime Victims' Rights Week is a time when our Nation pauses to seriously reflect on these innocent victims of crime and on those who are working all across this country in their behalf. Thousands of people--many of them volunteers who have been victims themselves--are tirelessly striving at the Federal, State, and local levels to provide emotional support, guidance, and financial assistance to help crime victims recover from their trauma and to ensure that they are treated equitably and sensitively as their cases progress through the criminal justice system. My Administration is working to stop the violence today to ensure fewer victims tomorrow. The pending crime bill is tough and smart and fair, with victims' concerns as its centerpiece. It will strengthen programs that combat violence against women, it will impose a life sentence--without possibility of parole--on repeat, violent offenders, and it will amend the Victims of Crime Act to expand Federal resources available for crime victims' services, and it will promote the development of State registries for child abusers. We are encouraging citizens to assume personal responsibility for improving their neighborhoods and to get involved in finding solutions to the violence in their communities. Those who give of themselves to assist victims are helping immeasurably in this effort. They are there for their neighbors. They are there to provide comfort when someone has [[Page 909]] lost a child to random gunfire, when the sanctity of someone's home has been invaded by an intruder, when someone has been robbed, brutalized, or beaten. National Crime Victims' Rights Week affords us the opportunity to express our appreciation to these ``good neighbors'' and to renew our commitment to meeting the needs and ensuring the rights of crime victims. I encourage communities across the Nation to facilitate the restorative process. Offenders must take responsibility and be held accountable for what they have done. We must encourage victims to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and help them to rebuild their lives and their communities through volunteer efforts and community service projects. And community institutions must afford the same rights to the victim as those given to the accused and to the offender. This includes initiatives such as community policing, community prosecutors, and community action advocates. Members of AmeriCorps promise a source of untapped potential for even more victim service agencies in our cities and towns. In fact, thousands will be making their presence felt this summer in our national service Summer of Safety programs. The problem of violence is a problem for all Americans. It is not a partisan issue. Strong pro-victim measures must be enacted in order to give our children a brighter future. Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week of April 24 through April 30, 1994, as National Crime Victims' Rights Week. I urge all Americans to join in remembering the innocent victims of crime and in honoring those who labor selflessly in behalf of these victims and their families. We must recommit ourselves to working with our neighbors to stop the violence and to ensure safer streets, schools, and playgrounds for our Nation's children and for all of our citizens. In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth. William J. Clinton [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:27 p.m., April 26, 1994] Note: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on April 29.