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Crime Victim Conference Focuses on Litigation and Legislative Strategies

Laura Dunn; NCVLI Executive Director Meg Garvin, clinical professor of law; and Brenda TracyLaura Dunn; NCVLI Executive Director Meg Garvin, clinical professor of law; and Brenda Tracy

May 28-29, 2015

The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) hosted its 14th Annual Crime Victim Law Conference and Rights Reception at Lewis & Clark Law School. The event continues to be the only national conference focusing on rights enforcement in criminal cases, which is a critical but often overlooked component of holistic legal services for victims of crime.

This year’s event was the largest in history, bringing together more than 250 attendees from 23 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Among the attendees were 160 attorneys (78 of whom were military attorneys who represent victims of sexual violence) and 70 advocates.

The 2015 conference—Victims. Rights. Now.—focused on litigation and legislation strategies.The five plenary sessions and 24 breakout sessions taught by national experts in victim law and mental health. Chief Judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces James Baker presented the opening plenary, “Victims’ Rights in Judicial Decision Making: A Case Study of the Military,” about how to craft arguments and be an effective advocate.The closing plenary presentation,” Surviving Campus Violence: Two Survivors’ Paths to Advocacy,” was delivered by Laura Dunn and Brenda Tracy, themselves survivors of campus sexual assaults. Attendees heard firsthand about the trauma and impact of victimization, in addition to learning about the latest legislative efforts to combat campus violence at the state and national levels.

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