Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 National Crime Victim' Rights Week

Once known as the Stephanie Roper Committee and Foundation, Inc.

Today known as Maryland Crime Victims Rights' Center.  Here is how the caring parents,  aided by friends and family,  worked in the memory of their daughter to achieve what the organization is today for crime victims throughout Maryland.

On April 3, 1982, Stephanie Roper became an innocent victim of crime in Maryland.

She was a college senior about to graduate from Frostburg State University, home for a weekend visit with with her family in Prince George's County. After leaving her friend's home, her car became disabled. Two men, Jack Ronald Jones and Jerry Beatty, came upon and kidnapped her, and over a five-hour period, brutally raped, tortured, and murdered Stephanie.
Stephanie Roper

Friends and neighbors who had known and loved Stephanie found it impossible to do nothing. Frustration and anger were diverted into acts of love toward Stephanie's family.

A small group was formed to help them through the funeral and subsequent criminal trial, the Stephanie Roper Family Assistance Committee. In October 1982, the group incorporated as the Stephanie Roper Committee and Foundation, Inc.

Guided by the cause, Stephanie's memory, and the leadership of Stephanie's parents, Vince and Roberta Roper, volunteers came forward to form the staff. Goals and priorities were set, chapters were formed, space was donated, and the first office opened.

Roberta Roper

Twenty years later, in the Fall of 2002, the sister organizations bearing Stephanie's name merged to become the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Inc., a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to serving the interests of crime victims in Maryland, while maintaining a nationwide reputation for dedicated advocacy and services.

Today, the MCVRC serves Maryland's victims from two offices, in Prince George's County and in Baltimore City, and has diversified its services to include criminal justice education, court accompaniment, therapeutic counseling, support groups, community education, prevention education, legal information and assistance, direct legal representation, policy advocacy, technical assistance for allied professionals and criminal justice agencies, and faith-based referrals.

There is so much more to learn from this website.  Please take time to visit there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Roper also serves on the Maryland State Board of Victim Services, an advisory board that's part of the Govenor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.