Victims' Rights Caucus

Victims' Rights Caucus The Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus was founded in 2006 by Congressman Ted Poe (TX-2) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-20). Together, along with a bipartisan group of 72 Members, they are a voice for victims before Congress and the Administration.

Operating as usual

💙 Human trafficking is an evil that must be stopped. Victims’ Rights Caucus co-chairs Congressman Pete Olson, Congresswo...
01/12/2020

💙 Human trafficking is an evil that must be stopped. Victims’ Rights Caucus co-chairs Congressman Pete Olson, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Congressman Jim Costa and Congresswoman Veronica Escobar stand together in saying enough is enough and working to end this form of modern-day slavery. #NationalHumanTraffickingAwarenessDay 💙

Today we #WearBlue to raise awareness of the atrocity of #HumanTrafficking and support the thousands of human traffickin...
01/11/2019

Today we #WearBlue to raise awareness of the atrocity of #HumanTrafficking and support the thousands of human trafficking victims throughout the U.S.

As co-chairs of the #VictimsRightsCaucus, Congressman Jim Costa and Congressman Pete Olson proudly wore blue on the Capitol steps to stand with victims and #survivors, and to pledge to lead the fight against human trafficking in all of its forms.

07/19/2018
Ted Poe

Congressman Ted Poe joins together with the 12th Woman to call for a solution to campus sexual assault in the United States.

Today, we join together with the 12th Woman to call for an end to campus sexual assault.

Congressman Jim Costa
04/25/2018

Congressman Jim Costa

On #DenimDay, we stand together to fight misconceptions surrounding sexual assault.

There is no excuse for assault. Period.

As co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus, I will continue to work to fight these misconceptions and to ensure our survivors of crime get the justice and services essential for recovery.

#NoExcuseForAssault #EndSA

04/20/2018
Ted Poe

Ted Poe

Yesterday, the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus hosted our annual awards ceremony. I was privileged to present the Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness in honor of Megan Rondini. While attending the University of Alabama, Megan was raped, and subsequently failed by the system in every way. Megan tragically took her own life. Her story and her voice live on, and real efforts to improve responses to sexual assault have been undertaken both at her University and on the federal level. Her father, Mike Rondini, and sister Samantha accepted on her behalf.

Ted Poe
04/20/2018
Ted Poe

Ted Poe

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an outstanding organization that helps prevent child abuse within the governing bodies of the United States Olympic Committee. SafeSport’s remarkable education and outreach programs have helped prevent abuse of America's athletes. Congress has recently recognized the need in keeping our young athletes safe, and SafeSport is committed to fighting alongside us to end the exploitation of young women and men in this country. I am proud to award this amazing organization with the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Allied Professional Award, recognizing the efforts of SafeSport and their leadership, creativity, and commitment in linking allied professionals to improve the plight of crime victims in our Nation.

The Fresno Bee
04/19/2018
The Fresno Bee

The Fresno Bee

“By using her painful experience to relate to other survivors in Fresno and support them in their recovery, Arien is an example of true strength and the triumph of the human spirit.”

Victims' Rights Caucus's cover photo
04/13/2018

Victims' Rights Caucus's cover photo

Today, Co-Chairs and Co-Founders Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and  Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) joined  Congressman Dave R...
04/12/2018

Today, Co-Chairs and Co-Founders Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) joined Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY) of the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus to honor this year’s outstanding individuals who have given their time and service to helping victims. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the caucus. Today we honored:
Honorable Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin- Lois Haight Award for Excellence and Innovation
Jessica Johnson- Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy
Megan Rondini- Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness
Arien Pauls- Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award
U.S. Center for SafeSport - Allied Professional Award
Julie Nauman- Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness

Today, Co-Chairs and Co-Founders Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) joined Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY) of the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus to honor this year’s outstanding individuals who have given their time and service to helping victims. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the caucus. Today we honored:
Honorable Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin- Lois Haight Award for Excellence and Innovation
Jessica Johnson- Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy
Megan Rondini- Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness
Arien Pauls- Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award
U.S. Center for SafeSport - Allied Professional Award
Julie Nauman- Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness

04/12/2018
Ted Poe

Congressional Victims’ Rights Awards- 2018

Congressional Victims’ Rights Awards-2018

Erie County Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin has dedicated her life work supporting at-risk children and families, i...
04/09/2018
Erie County Family Court judge recipient of national award

Erie County Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin has dedicated her life work supporting at-risk children and families, including survivors of family violence. Nominated by Congressman Brian Higgins, Judge Bloch Rodwin has been chosen by the U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus to receive the “Lois Haight Award for Excellence and Innovation.”

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Erie County Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin was honored today in Buffalo by Congressman Rep. Brian Higgins for her work on behalf of at-risk children and families, including survivors of family violence.

ICYMI: Congressman Ted Poe and Congressman Jim Costa co-authored an op-ed calling for support for survivors during Human...
01/30/2018
Ted Poe

ICYMI: Congressman Ted Poe and Congressman Jim Costa co-authored an op-ed calling for support for survivors during Human Trafficking Awareness month.

ICYMI: January is human trafficking awareness month. If we empower victims and support them in finding the power of their speech, we can help end modern day slavery. Their words can condemn those that inflicted such unimaginable suffering upon them and strike fear in the hearts of future potential buyers and traffickers. We must work together to give survivors a voice.

06/28/2017
Ted Poe

Rape is never the fault of the victim. It is imperative that we understand victims of sexual assault.

Megan Rondini was a student at the The University of Alabama when she was raped. She did everything a rape victim should do. But she was dismissed, ignored, blamed and forgotten. She was failed by the hospital, law enforcement, and the University. Feeling like there was no way to escape her pain Megan took her life. Sexual Assault is a very different type of crime. Rape is never the fault of the victim. It is imperative that we understand victims of sexual assault.

Earlier this week, the Victims' Rights Caucus hosted a demo of Thorn's human trafficking investiations tool called Spotl...
06/15/2017

Earlier this week, the Victims' Rights Caucus hosted a demo of Thorn's human trafficking investiations tool called Spotlight. Thorn partners with technology companies, law enforcement, and NGOs to build technology tools to help find vitims faster, make online environments safer, and deter criminal behavior. Used in all 50 states, Spotlight sifts through massive amounts of data, allowing law enforcement to focus their time and efforts on the most vulnerable cases.

Pictured here are Thorn Executive Director Julie Cordua, VRC Member Rep. Karen Bass, (CA-37) and VRC Co-Chair Rep. Ted Poe (TX-2).

Yesterday, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) introduced H.R. 2803, the Abolish Human Traffi...
06/08/2017
Ted Poe

Yesterday, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) introduced H.R. 2803, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act.

Yesterday, Congresswoman Ann Wagner and I introduced H.R. 2803, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act. Our goal is to break the cycle of exploitation while restoring the lives of these innocent women and children. Modern day slavery has no place in America.

05/31/2017
Ted Poe

Congress must act now to ensure that this fund – paid into by criminals – is used for its intended purpose: to help restore victims.

The Crime Victims Fund is the lifeblood of victim service providers. In 1984, Congress created a law that established the Crime Victims Fund to support victims of crime. Since then, convicted federal felons who are assessed fees and fines must pay into the Crime Victims Fund. With this money in this fund victim service providers do important work, helping victims heal, cope and persevere after a crime. H.R. 818 will help protect these funds, ensuring that these funds cannot be spent on unrelated programs. Congress must act now to ensure that this fund – paid into by criminals – is used for its intended purpose: to help restore victims.

Congratulations to our Awardees!
04/06/2017

Congratulations to our Awardees!

Congratulations to our Awardees!

2017 VRC Award Winners
04/05/2017

2017 VRC Award Winners

04/05/2017
Ted Poe

2017 Victims Rights Caucus Awards

2017 Victims Rights Awards

02/02/2017
Ted Poe

In 1984, a novel program was started under the Reagan administration called VOCA, Victims of Crime Act; and the idea was pretty simple: Criminals in the Federal courts that are convicted pay into a court cost fund. That money then is used for victims and helps pay for their injuries, for their medical expenses, sometimes the funeral expenses. A great idea: Make criminals pay for the system they have created. But now, the fund is being robbed by bureaucrats and thrown into the abyss of the Federal budget. This money does not belong to the Federal Government. It is not taxpayer money. It is money that belongs to victims. H.R. 818 ensures VOCA funds can only be used for their original intent: helping victims of crime.

In 1984, a novel program was started under the Reagan administration called VOCA, Victims of Crime Act; and the idea was pretty simple: Criminals in the Federal courts that are convicted pay into a court cost fund. That money then is used for victims and helps pay for their injuries, for their medical expenses, sometimes the funeral expenses. A great idea: Make criminals pay for the system they have created. But now, the fund is being robbed by bureaucrats and thrown into the abyss of the Federal budget. This money does not belong to the Federal Government. It is not taxpayer money. It is money that belongs to victims. H.R. 818 ensures VOCA funds can only be used for their original intent: helping victims of crime.

01/11/2017

Washington D.C. – Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) issued the following statement after BackPage.com abruptly closed the adult escort advertising section on its website.

“I am very pleased to hear that BackPage.com has closed its adult advertisement section. Our society should never tolerate any website that enables human trafficking and child prostitution.”

This long overdue but significant victory is owed not only to the tireless investigative work of victim advocacy groups, law enforcement and state and federal government officials, but also to the survivors who bravely came forward and shared their stories. BackPage.com’s escort site offered an easy hiding place for traffickers to manipulate and exploit the most vulnerable members of our communities. I applaud the shuttering of the site as an encouraging step forward in the fight against human trafficking.

Congressman Ted Poe on the SHAME Act: Traffickers and sex abusers run a global business second only to the slave trade. ...
11/14/2016
Sex traffickers should be shamed, by Ted Poe

Congressman Ted Poe on the SHAME Act:
Traffickers and sex abusers run a global business second only to the slave trade. Like any business, this trade is successful because of its customers and the continuous demand they provide. It is time to SHAME these horrible humans out of the business.

A new bill will give federal judges the ability to publish both the names and the photographs of both convicted human traffickers and buyers of trafficked victims.

Boko Haram survivors sexually abused at 'safe' camps
11/03/2016
Boko Haram survivors sexually abused at 'safe' camps

Boko Haram survivors sexually abused at 'safe' camps

Women and girls who survived Boko Haram violence were raped by government officials at camps in northern Nigeria where they sought safety, finds a new rights group report released this week.

We must protect the victims of human trafficking, rescue them, and restore them.
10/21/2016
Ted Poe

We must protect the victims of human trafficking, rescue them, and restore them.

Great work by the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the The Harris County District Attorney's Office catching this criminal. Houston is one of the largest hubs for human trafficking in the nation. We must protect the victims of human trafficking, rescue them, and restore them.

10/17/2016
Ted Poe

Congressman Ted Poe's SHAME Act will give federal judges the ability to publish the names and photographs of convicted human traffickers and buyers of trafficked victims. This legislation is designed to allow easy public access to the pictures and information of those among them in society who would purchase sex from these victims.

The SHAME Act will give federal judges the ability to publish the names and photographs of convicted human traffickers and buyers of trafficked victims. This legislation is designed to allow easy public access to the pictures and information of those among them in society who would purchase sex from these victims.

10/11/2016
Upworthy

Truckers Against Trafficking is the eyes and ears of the highway. A simple call to 911 by a trucker helped convict 31 offenders, rescued 7 minors and shut down a 13 state child trafficking ring. Trafficking happens all around us. This is a national problem that requires a national answer. #endtrafficking

The eyes and ears of the highway: Truckers Against Trafficking is teaching drivers to recognize and report suspicious behavior. For more information, visit Truckers Against Trafficking or call the national hotline at 1-888-3737-888.

Video by Daniel Sheire.

09/20/2016
Speaker Paul Ryan

Every 109 seconds, another American becomes a victim of sexual assault. Survivors of these heinous crimes should be afforded the full protection of the law, and that's why the House just passed a Survivor's Bill of Rights.

Every 109 seconds, another American becomes a victim of sexual assault. Survivors of these heinous crimes should be afforded the full protection of the law, and that's why the House just passed a Survivor's Bill of Rights.

More than 1,000 women and girls have been apparent victims of sex trafficking in illicit cantinas in the United States t...
09/15/2016
Sex trafficking victims found at illicit Texas social sites, report finds

More than 1,000 women and girls have been apparent victims of sex trafficking in illicit cantinas in the United States that largely operate beyond the reach of law enforcement, the anti-slavery group Polaris said on Thursday.

Many traffickers are involved in drug cartels or gangs, and victims often were lured to the United States with job offers or other false promises

09/09/2016
Ted Poe

Yesterday, Congressman Ted Poe and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation Shaming human traffickers. The bi-partisan bill will ensure that federal judges have the ability to publish the names and photographs of criminals convicted of buying sex from a minor or a sex-trafficking victim. The SHAME Act is designed to allow easy public access to the pictures and information of those in society who would purchase sex from these victims.

As a judge in Texas, I successfully used public punishment. The SHAME Act will give Federal judges the discretion to publish the names and photographs of convicted human sex traffickers and buyers as well as sending them off to prison.

28 victims of human trafficking have been rescued due to the efforts of the Ventura County Sheriff’s office. It is our h...
08/25/2016
Five arrested on suspicion of running sex trafficking ring

28 victims of human trafficking have been rescued due to the efforts of the Ventura County Sheriff’s office. It is our hope that these victims of slavery will be rescued, restored, and treated as victims of crime.

Five people were arrested on suspicion of running a San Gabriel Valley-based sex trafficking ring that operated from San Diego to Fresno, authorities said Tuesday.

Trafficking is everywhere. Even in our local communities. More than 2,600 sex trafficking cases have been reported this ...
08/12/2016
Inside Houston's sex slave trade

Trafficking is everywhere. Even in our local communities. More than 2,600 sex trafficking cases have been reported this year alone. Be aware. #humantrafficking

Authorities score a big legal victory by convicting 14 Texas sex slave traffickers, but a notorious alleged pimp remains on the run.

For many victims, rape is a fate worse than death. This monster with his heinous actions sentenced a child to a lifetime...
07/26/2016
Bus driver admits to raping student, walks free

For many victims, rape is a fate worse than death. This monster with his heinous actions sentenced a child to a lifetime of emotional turmoil. His punishment is grossly inadequate for the harm he has caused.

Join the WINGS Foundation in coordination with the Victims' Rights Caucus for a special educational briefing and leaders...
07/13/2016

Join the WINGS Foundation in coordination with the Victims' Rights Caucus for a special educational briefing and leadership conversation to examine opportunities to better meet the needs and honor the rights of the nearly 60 million Adult survivors across the United States, who still need, deserve and should have rights to receive specialized victim- centered services.

SD-­‐562 Dirksen Senate Office Building
July 14, 2016
10am­‐11am

07/13/2016
Announcement from Congressman Ted Poe - Press Releases - Congressman Ted Poe

Announcement from Congressman Ted Poe:

HOUSTON, TX--During the Congressional recess I will be spending time in Texas and focusing on my health. I have been diagnosed with leukemia. In the interim, my staff will be available as usual to assist with any and all casework or federal matters you may have. I am fortunate enough to be treated by the finest physicians in the world right here in Houston at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. It is my intention to beat cancer and have a full recovery and continue to represent the people of Texas. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and your prayers. The Good Lord will fix this, I believe. And that's just the way it is.

Announcement from Congressman Ted Poe Jul 13 2016 HOUSTON, TX--During the Congressional recess I will be spending time in Texas and focusing on my health. I have been diagnosed with leukemia. In the interim, my staff will be available as usual to assist with any and all casework or federal matters…

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