Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, April 13th at 10:00 AM, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-R) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-D) will host the Annual Victims’ Rights Caucus Awards. The awards ceremony will be held in Room 2226 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Each year Reps. Poe and Costa, along with other members of the bipartisan VRC, host an awards ceremony to honor outstanding individuals and organizations for their tireless efforts to support and empower victims of crime. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, co-founded by Reps. Poe and Costa.

Award Recipients:

Lois Haight Award of Excellence and Innovation

Yasmin Vafa, Executive Director, Rights4Girls

Nominated by Rep. Ted Poe (TX-R)

As a human rights attorney and advocate, Yasmin works to advance policies to address gendered violence and human trafficking in the U.S. She has achieved several major policy wins at the federal level, designed and implemented a national judicial institute on child trafficking, and co-authored a seminal report mapping girls' unique pathways into the juvenile justice system. She currently serves as a faculty adjunct educator and consultant for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, served on the Advisory Board for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's National Girls Initiative, and was as a member of the Department of Justice’s National Task Force on the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women and Girls under Correctional Custody.

 

Allied Professional Award

CASA of Merced County

Nominated by Rep. Jim Costa (CA-D)

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Merced County is a non-profit organization that trains community volunteers to serve as powerful advocates for the community's most vulnerable at-risk children and youth.

 

Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award

Lane Judson

Nominated by Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08)

After his daughter was fatally shot by her husband, Mr. Judson dedicated his life to helping and supporting victims of domestic violence. He was instrumental in the creation of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center in Tacoma, WA, and he has led the fight to incorporate the Crystal Judson Domestic Violence Protocol Program into the 2006 Violence Against Women Act.

 

Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award

Maureen Mahoney

Nominated by Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06)

Maureen Mahoney’s parents were murdered when she was a young adult.  She has used this tragedy to educate the community and raise funds for community-based organizations who combat crime and support survivors and their families.

 

Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy

Beth Hassett, Executive Director, WEAVE-Ed

Nominated by Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06)

WEAVE works to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  The organization is a forward-looking, visionary agency working to change the way victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking are treated within the various systems in which they face obstacles.

Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness

Blanca Kling, Hispanic Liaison, Media Services Division, Montgomery County Department of Police

Nominated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)

Since 2005, Ms. Kling has worked tirelessly to develop open and productive lines of communication between the Montgomery County (MD) Police Department and various communities, with a special focus on the Hispanic community.  Ms. Kling conducts outreach to the 170,000 Hispanics who live and work in the county. Since 2005, Ms. Kling has worked tirelessly to develop open and productive lines of communication between the Montgomery County (MD) Police Department and various communities, with a special focus on the Hispanic community.  

The awards will be live streamed on Congressman Ted Poe’s Facebook Page.

 

All media interested in attending must RSVP to Shaylyn Hynes (Shaylyn.hynes@mail.house.gov) and Karina Erickson (Karina.Erickson@mail.house.gov) no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, April 11th.

 

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