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D.A. Krasner announces new crime victims committee

April 8, 2018 GMT

District Attorney Larry announced Friday the creation of a Crime Victims’ Advisory Committee (CVAC), a move that comes ahead of National Crime Victims week, beginning Sunday.

In addition to professionals from the District Attorney’s Office’s Office of Victim and Witness Services, the CVAC will include Philadelphians who have personally experienced incidents of assault, sexual and/or domestic violence, or homicide and area organizations who serve the victims and witnesses of crime.

“In each one of the hundreds of cases the District Attorney’s Office works on each day, there is one thing in common, they all have witnesses and victims,” Krasner said.

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Interim Victims Supervisor Movita Johnson-Harrell said “we should not be re-traumitizing victims.”

She said there needs to be a “cross-sectional” analysis of the issues people are going through when they become victims of crimes.

“We nee to make sure all of the voices of the victims are raised, that we are respecting crime victims and that we are advocating for victims,” Johnson-Harrell said.

State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-7) stood beside Krasner as the district attorney made his announcement.

Hughes, along with PA Victim advocate Jennifer Storm, mentioned the Marsy’s Law legislation.

The bill calls for victims to receive information about their rights, be free from intimidation or harassment, fair treatment and to be notified about and be present for legal proceedings concerning cases they are involved in.

Hughes’s Senate Bill 1082 is proposed to protect victims in a similar fashion. Hughes thinks he sees progress in Krasner’s first few months as the city’s district attorney.

“This part of the reason why Larry Krasner got elected. To work hard at transforming a criminal justice system that is broken in just about every aspect of it,” he said. “If we can strengthen the presence of victims legally and constitutionally throughout the process — if we can expand services for survivors and victims — which is what our bill is intending to do [Senate Bill 1082]—that’s a good thing.”