A MESSAGE FROM NOVA’S BOARD OF DIRECTOR’S PRESIDENT RHONDA S. BARNER
On behalf of the NOVA Board of Directors, staff and extended NOVA membership family, this message goes out to Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon in the aftermath of yet another violent and tragic school shooting in our country. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those killed and to the injured survivors of this senseless criminal act. Through NOVA’s long history of responding to communities experiencing crises like this one in Roseburg – described as a small peaceful town where everybody knows everybody – we are sadly aware that the impact of this violence reaches beyond the immediate victims, survivors and their families and friends.
It is with a heavy heart that we recognize that mass murder, as with the intentional taking of any single life, is devastating and life-changing for victims’ families, friends and the community at large. These horrific events also have a devastating effect on the individual “communities” within a geographical area such as the Snyder Hall classroom where the shootings occurred, the Umpqua Community College and the town of Roseburg. The sense of safety and security, we all value in our daily lives, has been forever affected. Sadly, Umpqua Community College and the town of Roseburg have joined the all-too-familiar list of places “where the school shooting happened” and those communities which have suffered similarly are reminded of the reactions and impact they experienced.
NOVA encourages the community of Roseburg, as well as many other communities across this country that have sadly endured the senseless tragedy of mass murder, to recognize that they are experiencing very common reactions to a circumstance that defies explanation. Understand that shock, disbelief, anger, fear, sadness, loss and other reactions are to be expected in the aftermath of life-threatening and life-changing events. Please know that you are not alone and that the NOVA family wishes you a sense of hope in this seemingly hopeless time. May your resilience and strength carry and sustain you and help your community emerge to be even stronger.
The Chairman, Executive Board and management of Victim Support Scotland are sad to announce the death of David McKenna OBE, FRSA, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland and President of Victim Support Europe.
David McKenna was the iconic victim supporter of his time. A pioneer of the development of victim support services across the world and indefatigable in his pursuit of victims’ rights.
In 1986 he led a small team pioneering the development of the first voluntary community based support services to victims of crime. He served as Principal Officer of Victim Support Strathclyde and became responsible for 46 local victim support services across Scotland as the Director of Operations. He oversaw the change of employment of all staff from local victims services management to the national responsibility.
In 2001 David took up the position of Chief Executive and became the third lead officer for Victim Support Scotland. During his time he had overall responsibility for 150 paid staff and 750 volunteers providing direct support services to now over 200,000 victims and witnesses of crime a year.
David was responsible for managing and influencing strategic relationships with partner agencies and stakeholders at the most senior level, including Parliamentary, Governmental and Ministerial. He championed the support VSS received through VSS President HRH The Princess Royal and was adamant that her visits should always be ‘perfect’.
Through his energy and dedication he revolutionised the landscape for victims of crime, both nationally and internationally. In 2010 following his role as secretary and vice president, he became President of Victim Support Europe where he pursued the development of Victim Support Europe with a passion, from being a network of national members to becoming a key stakeholder in European justice matters. He established a head office in Brussels and built links with the EU parliament, the European Commission as well as individual Members of Parliament and partner agencies. He secured victims rights as a top priority in the European Union’s Justice agenda. His skills as a negotiator ensured that incoming EU presidencies highlighted victim issues as part of their priorities during their terms, which carried the momentum forward.
David led the expert input into the development of new victims’ rights legislation and was able to negotiate the adoption of the 2012 Victims’ Rights Directive in 18 months from start to finish, the fastest any EU Directive has been agreed. Subsequently elements of that Directive have been included in the Scottish Government’s Victims & Witnesses (Scotland) Act, a law which truly advances the rights of victims and witnesses in Scotland.
An eternal optimist, David never took no for an answer and never wavered in the face of challenges. His continuous enthusiasm and vision brought countries and continents together under the united banner of improving the lives of people affected by crime.
In 2012 David gathered leaders from the victim movement across the globe to create Victims of Crime International, the first time that international victim support organisations had come together to advance a global agenda in establishing rights and services for victims. In so doing, David created a vision and momentum in the victim movement that will live on for decades to come.
As President of VSE David traveled the globe, often in many countries in the same week. His countless stories of dreadful travel and horrendous hotel experiences are legendary. Always told for comedic value which left you speechless and crying with laughter!
A dapper dresser always looking the part with numerous changes of clothes and differing aftershave for day and night. He worked extremely hard but also had fun when work was over and was well known for dragging International colleagues on the dance floor.
People warmed to David because he cared about them and he cared about victims of crime which shone through all he did.
In 2011 David was awarded an OBE for his services on behalf of disadvantaged people.
He will be remembered as a world-leading visionary and source of inspiration in the global development of victim support, with a lasting legacy in the development of victim support organisations.
Born in Glasgow David’s parents were Edith and Matthew, a social worker. David is survived by a twin brother Tom and sisters Jane, Deana and Linda, eight nephews, three nieces and seven great-nephews and nieces.
He and George, his partner for 36 years, were married in Glasgow on March 31 this year, the ceremony witnessed by David’s niece Sabrina and her husband Derek.
Other appointments and professional memberships included: David participated in a number of Ministerial bodies, including the National Advisory Board on Offender Management; the Sentencing Commission, the Summary Justice Review Group, the Youth Justice Implementation Group, the Victims Steering Group, the Bonomy Review and the Criminal Justice Forum. Audit Scotland, review of Police Call Handling Centres, Scottish Association for the Study of Offenders, United Nations Crime and Drug Commission, review of Norms and Standards in Criminal Justice Expert Group, Age Concern Elder Abuse National Reference Group, SACRO Board of Management (1999-2002), Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice, Criminal Injuries Compensation UK Ireland Group, Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Panel Scottish Convention on Human Rights Group, Board member, Volunteer Centre for Scotland (1992-1997), Board member, Glasgow Council for Voluntary Services, (1990-1995), National Council, Gingerbread Scotland (1995-1997) Community Council Member (1980-1986).
David was educated at Queens Park Secondary School , Glasgow from 1969 -1974; Glasgow College of Commerce 1980-1981; Bell College, Hamilton 1981-1982, and Glasgow College of Technology 1983-1984.
Acting Chief Executive,
Victim Support Scotland.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
National Organization for Victim Assistance
510 King Street, Suite 424
Alexandria, VA 22314
Contact: Jennifer Howard, Acting Executive Director
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR VICTIM ASSISTANCE (NOVA) BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP TRANSITION
ALEXANDRIA, VA. The NOVA Board of Directors announces the departure of Executive Director, Dr. H. William “Will” Marling. NOVA Board President Marsha Probst had this to say: “In his role as Executive Director, Will led the organization through a difficult time for all non-profit organizations — the 2008-2010 recessions. He has been a visionary leader expanding and integrating new programs and initiatives. We wish him only the best and know that his skills and abilities will help other organizations.”
Upon Marling’s departure, Jennifer Howard, who currently serves as NOVA’s Deputy Director and the D-SAACP Project Manager, has been appointed Acting Executive Director for the organization. Howard will oversee day-to-day operations and management of the organization while the NOVA Board of Directors begins a search for a new Executive Director.
Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance is the oldest victim assistance organization of its type in the United States.
NOVA has been awarded a Cy Pres funding from the HSBC Bank Nevada and HSBC Card Service Class Action (2:10-cv-03213-BMS). These settlement funds will enhance and expand NOVA’s capacity to continue to educate consumers on the cyber safety, especially related to protecting personally identifying information.
NOVA is grateful for the work of Kenneth J. Grunfeld, Esquire, with Golomb and Honik, as he tirelessly sought to support the needs of victims in seeing these funds used to serve them.
Ken has the ‘NOVA spirit!’
“Today, 11 March marks the 11th European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. On this day, Victim Support Europe expresses its deepest sympathy and solidarity for all victims of terrorism.
Already in 2015, there have been numerous terrorist attacks in Europe and around the globe. These criminals target innocent people indiscriminately. Their crimes cause terrible damage to the lives of those they attack and to their families.
Whilst terrorist acts in Europe, thankfully, do not occur every day, the threat of further violence is real and ever present. Victim Support Europe therefore welcomes the actions of national governments and of EU and international actors to put in place measures to better protect individuals and to prevent further terrorist crimes.
However, the needs of victims must not be ignored.
Victim Support Europe calls on all national, EU and International actors to ensure victims of terrorism are effectively supported and assisted. In these times, it is all too easy to focus efforts on pursuing criminals whilst forgetting the needs of the victims themselves. Not just on this day of remembrance but every day, you must remember their needs and you must act to meet those needs.
Victim Support Europe calls on governments to ensure that effective planning and sufficient resources are in place to respond to the support needs of victims in the event of a terrorist act.
Victim Support Europe calls on governments to ensure there is an effective infrastructure of support not just in the immediate aftermath of an attack but also in the long term. That infrastructure must attend to victims’ general and specific needs. It must support them psychologically and practically and during any criminal proceedings.
Action to help victims of terrorism is not just in the hands of governments. Terrorist acts are by their nature highly public and victims are more exposed to public scrutiny than for most other crimes. Moreover, in these days of social media and mobile video recordings, reports on crimes are no longer just made by the media. This exposure can cause even greater suffering for victims. Every person has a responsibility to be mindful of victims and to avoid causing further harm.
Victim Support Europe calls on organisations reporting on terrorist crimes to ensure their reporters understand how to cover these terrible acts sensitively – and ensure they in fact report with sensitivity.
Victim Support Europe also calls on individuals to show care and sensitivity when posting and sharing information on these criminal acts. Every person must be conscious of how their actions can further hurt victims and their families.
Victim Support Europe remembers all those who have fallen victim to terrorism on this European day of remembrance for victims of terrorism. On this day, we also call on individuals and governments alike to make sure that every day that follows is a day of action in support of those victims.”
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, turned out to be a big day for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund. President Obama signed into law the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015.” This bill raises the VOCA cap from $745 million to $2.361 billion, an increase of 3.5 times! This is an unprecedented increase in the VOCA cap and is urgently needed to help victims of crime.
The National Crime Prevention Council has provided some fantastic public service announcements on firearm safety.
Check these out:
With the 40th NOVA Conference now history (August 17-20, 2014), here are some pictures provided to us capturing the spirit of the week!
NOVA has received many requests for a response to recent discussions about reducing the Mandatory Minimum Sentencing guidelines currently in place in the Federal Court system. After significant reflection, the NOVA Board has released the following statement on the subject:
The National Organization for Victim Assistance strongly affirms its position that the length of incarceration for those convicted of a crime or crimes should be based on justice and safety for the victim and society, not on the cost of incarceration.
NOVA’s mission is championing dignity and compassion for those harmed by crime and crisis. When considering this issue, victims must remain the top priority. The cost of victimization is much too high to take lightly when looking for ways to reduce spending. Any legislation proposing changes to the current guidelines must put victims first, and not lose the hard-fought progress they have earned.