• Mr. Speaker, crime victims are not statistics.
  • They are real people with real stories who have had something bad happen to them.
  • As a former judge, I used to see victims in my courtroom every day.
  • Unfortunately, too often victims are left out of the criminal justice process.
  • They are also many times overlooked and forgotten in the legislative process.
  • When I came to Congress, victims did not have an advocate group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
  • That is why Congressman JIM COSTA, a Democrat from California, and I, a Republican from Texas, founded the Victims' Rights Caucus .
  • Supporting crime victims is a bipartisan issue.
  • This week is National Crime Victims' Rights week, and the Victims' Rights Caucus will recognize those tenacious groups and individuals whose life work is to support victims .
  • I was proud to nominate Truckers Against Trafficking for the Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness.
  • Much like the award's namesake, Truckers Against Trafficking has pioneered efforts in the victims' rights community.
  • Truckers Against Trafficking is a traveling nonprofit group that works to educate and raise awareness for trafficking in the trucking industry.
  • These truckers know what signs to look for in a trafficking victim and are proactive in their efforts to rescue these victims from their trafficker.
  • Congressman JIM COSTA (CA-16) recognized community leader Sergeant Jeff Kertson for the Allied Professional Award.
  • Sergeant Kertson oversees several units for the Fresno County Sheriff's Department.
  • This includes the domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, sex offender registration, missing persons/runaways units, as well as a predator program and task force.
  • Sergeant Kertson really goes above and beyond to make victim services a priority to ensure a safer Fresno community.
  • The Ed Stout Memorial Award honors the legacy of the Director of Aid for Victims of Crime of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the Nation's oldest three victims' assistance organizations.
  • Ms. Mary Travers Murphy, nominated by Congressman BRIAN HIGGINS (NY-26), has been a champion for domestic violence victims in her community.
  • Her work as the Executive Director of the Family Justice Center of Erie County (FJCEC) raising funds for domestic violence victims has resulted in the opening of two suburban satellite FJCEC centers in Erie County.
  • Her efforts have strengthened her Erie community.
  • Another community leader that deserves recognition is Ms. Kerri True-Funk.
  • She was nominated for the Lois Haight Award of Excellence and Innovation by Congressman RODNEY DAVIS (IL-13).
  • Kerri is the Executive Director of Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services (RACES).
  • Kerri has championed efforts of prevention and education, which makes her the perfect candidate for the Lois Haight Award, working to prevent crime before it happens.
  • Kerri deserves to be honored for her work with RACES--reducing the occurrence of sexual assault among individuals with disabilities through empowerment education.
  • Victim advocates are wonderful people.
  • Many of them I have met over the years are even more special because they have used their personal experience to help others.
  • That is what the recipient of the Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award did.
  • William Kellibrew, nominated by Congresswoman ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (DC), had a traumatic past but he chose to fight back.
  • He is the founder of the William Kellibrew Foundation (WKF), a community-driven partnership that advocates on breaking the cycles of violence and poverty.
  • The WKF provides support networks for victims while they rebuild their lives.
  • People like William are living examples of how survivors can use their experiences to empower others.
  • The Victims' Rights Caucus is also recognizing Robin Smith, the founder of Video Action.
  • Video Action produces training instructional videos to educate victim advocates.
  • Robin reaches a vast audience through her videos which has spread awareness about victims issues to victim advocates.
  • Every single one of these recipients are warriors fighting to protect innocent victims and prevent further crimes.
  • We thank them for what they do for not only their communities, but for our nation.
  • Restoring the lives of victims is not easy work, but it's the Lord's work, saving people one at a time.
  • And that is just the way it is.