Who We Are
The Oregon Crime Victims Law Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of a Board of Directors which includes prominent activists in the area of crime victims’ rights, an experienced and dedicated staff and a cohort of volunteers who are passionate about justice and crime victims issues. Our mission is to advocate for crime victims to ensure their independent voices are heard and their legal rights protected.
Our History and Purpose
The parties to a criminal case are the government and the accused criminal defendant. The attorneys for the government must advocate for the interests of society as a whole, which are sometimes different from the interests of the victim – the person directly affected by the crime. It is precisely for this reason that victim advocates nationwide have fought long and hard for enforceable legal rights for crime victims, including the right to be represented by their own attorney as a way of ensuring them an independent voice throughout the legal process.
In 2008, Oregon’s crime victims were finally given the legal standing to enforce their constitutional rights as victims through the passing of two constitutional amendments. In 2009, SB 233 (since codified as ORS 147.500 et seq.) gave some “teeth” to these constitutional amendments by providing victims with the actual legal structure necessary to implement the rights and remedies afforded to them. It is this new framework of Oregon law that created a need for attorneys and advocates to educate crime victims about their rights in criminal proceedings and to assist them in enforcing those rights.
To meet this need, a group of respected veterans in the crime victims’ rights movement in Oregon, including former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers, founded the Portland-based Oregon Crime Victims Law Center (OCVLC) in 2009. Since then, OCVLC has provided free legal services to hundreds of crime victims helping them assert and enforce their rights. OCVLC’s specialized victim-centered and trauma-informed legal services seek to give crime victims an independent voice in the legal system, mitigate the effects of crime and empower victims so that they can move toward survivorship.
Board of Directors
Logo designed by volunteer Johnny Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org)