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First Lady Conte Participates In Crime Victims’ Rights Week Event

Press Release from the State of Tennessee; April 20, 2010:

Event Remembers Those In Davidson County Touched By Violent Crime

NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte today participated in a Crime Victims’ Rights Week event to remember individuals in Davidson County that have been touched by violent crime. National Crime Victim’s Rights Week, co-sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime of the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Victims of Crime, is April 18-24, 2010. The theme of this year’s observance is Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect.

Organizers of the Nashville event include You Have the Power…Know How to Use It, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about crime and justice issues founded by Conte in 1993. Conte, a former victim of violent crime, serves as president of the organization’s board.

“This week of observance give us an opportunity to make sure victims of crime and their families are aware of the resources and support available to them within their community,” said Conte.

Other participants scheduled to participate in the event include Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Edward Yarbrough, Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas, and Tennessee Commissioner of Correction Gayle Ray.

Tennessee’s First Lady has worked to serve victims of crime and abuse for more than 17 years. In addition to her role in founding You Have the Power, one of Conte’s initiatives upon becoming First Lady was to help establish a child advocacy center in each of the 31 judicial districts across the state. In 2003, there were 25 Child Advocacy Centers. Today there are 43 centers statewide.

As First Lady, Conte also worked to create a statewide Commission on Crime Victims Assistance that provides recommendations on the administration of the Criminal Injury Compensation Fund. Each December, she and Governor Phil Bredesen host “A Tennessee Season To Remember,” an annual holiday memorial event honoring Tennesseans who have lost their lives to violent crime.

Conte received national recognition as a longtime advocate for victims’ rights when she was presented with the National Crime Victim Service Award in 2008 during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

You Have the Power is dedicated to helping victims and educating the community to prevent violent crime. The group conducts educational programs, creates training videos and produces guidebooks on topics such as domestic violence, elder abuse and child sexual abuse. The videos are distributed nationwide to law enforcement agencies, schools, domestic violence shelters, civic groups and therapists. In addition, You Have the Power conducts numerous public programs across Tennessee.

For more information about You Have the Power, visit www.yhtp.org. For additional information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/index.html.

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