Victims’ assistance comes to Asheville

The North Carolina Victim Assistance Network will host its 21st annual training conference in Asheville from Aug. 28 to 30. Attendees will include local, state and federal criminal-justice and law-enforcement professionals, victim -elated service providers, surviving victims of rape, elder abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse, and family members of homicide and DWI crash victims.

NCVAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help crime victims and advocate for their fair treatment throughout the criminal-justice process.  The group links victims of crime with direct assistance and provides information on laws and legislation pertaining to victim’s rights. In addition, it sponsors training seminars and public-awareness events geared to educate the citizens of North Carolina on crime prevention and intervention efforts – as well as promoting the need for meaningful change within the criminal-justice system to benefit crime victims.

Featured speakers include Mark Lunsford, father of 9-year-old murder victim, Jessica Lunsford; Bobby Smith, a former Louisiana State Trooper shot in the line of duty; and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Gretchen Shappert.  The conference will cover topics such as sex -ffender legislation and tracking, child pornography, how to set up homicide-support groups, fraudulent schemes targeted at the elderly, DWI legislation, campus crime and domestic violence.

NCVAN is still accepting registrations.  The cost for the entire conference is $190 or $75 per day. For more information, visit or call (919) 831-2857.

— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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