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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Helene R. Davis

October 19, 2010

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Helene Davis grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, receiving her AA in Business Administration, and worked as a mental health professional. In 1980, she and her family moved to Oakland, California where she continued to work in children’s mental health services.  In 1989, her son was murdered and Helene began her work on behalf of homicide victims and other victims of violent crime.   She is the co-leader of the first support group specifically for families of homicide victims in the Oakland Metropolitan area.

Helene served as a State Commissioner on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention from 1994 through 2002.  In 1996 she became a founding member of a local group, Mothers Against Murder and Assault (MAMA). MAMA provides rehabilitative services to youth in the custody of the Alameda County Probation Department, aiding in their successful reentry to the community and reduction in recidivism.

Helene joined the Board in 2002.

What would you most like to see NCVLI or the victims’ rights movement accomplish over the next five years?  Twenty years?
Over the next five years I would like to see the passing of a national Victims’ Rights Amendment.  This would require a collaborative effort between the legal and victim services communities. Work done by NCVLI is increasingly bringing these groups together and I believe continued education and collaborative work will make the need for victims’ rights an undeniable fact.  Within the next 20 years I would like to see the rights of victims become an integral part of the judicial system in this country.

Why should someone get involved with NCVLI and victims’ rights?
I believe every citizen in this country should have a vested interest in increasing victims’ rights.  Victims left unsupported often live with a sense of desperation and abandonment from those factors in our society that they have spent years investing and believing in.  NCVLI is the only organization I know of whose focus is “victim-centered” and who is willing to bring all the players to the table to learn why victims’ rights are so important. 

To read more of Helene’s thoughts on the future of victims’ rights and why it is so important to continue the work NCVLI does for victims, click here.