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Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. is proud to announce that he and Victims Unit Director Rosie Martinez have been appointed to serve on the National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA) Honorary Advisory Board of Directors and the Board of Executive Directors, respectively.
The dual appointments are the most recent of the many that Rodriguez and the District Attorney’s Office have received since the Victims Unit was created in 2015 and is indicative of the DA office’s efforts to serve and support crime victims. Rodriguez, who has championed victims’ rights since taking office in 2015, also was part of a panel at the organization’s annual conference, held this week in San Diego, Calif.
Founded in 1975, NOVA champions dignity and compassion for those harmed by crime and crisis and provides training and continuing education opportunities for practitioners in the field of victims’ assistance. NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and the recognized leader in this noble cause.
Rodriguez was inducted into its Honorary Advisory Board of Directors on Wednesday, during the conference. The Advisory Board provides additional expertise to the Board of Executive Directors. As the only District Attorney on the Advisory Board, Rodriguez offers a unique and critical perspective to the organization.
“My dedicated staff has worked diligently to make it a priority to treat victims of crimes in a dignified, respectful, and compassionate manner as they navigate the judicial process,” said Rodriguez. “I am honored that the National Organization for Victims Assistance has recognized our efforts. I am proud to accept this appointment on behalf of every person on my staff, and I appreciate this opportunity to represent our team and share our experiences, perceptions, and best practices with fellow victims’ assistance practitioners in the national arena.”
Martinez was elected to serve as Secretary for NOVA’s Board of Executive Directors which oversees governance issues and operations.
“This is a huge milestone not only for the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office but for the entire State of Texas, and we are very proud to represent the field of victim services at a national level,” Martinez said. “This will allow us to be part of national public policy, prevention campaigns and initiatives to improve victim services and better assist victims of crime.”
Rodriguez presented this week at the 43rd Annual NOVA training conference as part of a panel entitled, “The Professional Victim Advocate: Judicial Experiences and Perceptions.” Joining him on the panel were: NOVA Executive Director Hon. Chief Justice Richard Barajas (Ret.) and Hon. Roland Steinle, Judge of the Superior Court in Maricopa County, Ariz. The session discussed the diversity challenges presented for practitioners of victim assistance as a professional discipline, and provided an opportunity for attendees to learn from judges, the district attorney, and other judicial officers regarding their experiences and perceptions of the victim assistance practitioner.
“Our team in Hidalgo County has done so much to provide the best services to victims of crimes, and being recognized and noticed at the national level is demonstrative of the strong commitment from our office to work in close partnership and collaborate with crime victim agencies not only in our county, but also on the state and national levels,” said Rodriguez.