Annual luncheon celebrates awardees during National Crime Victim’s Rights Week
PHILADELPHIA (April 24, 2015) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams in conjunction with the Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy (PCVA) today held their annual luncheon and award ceremony to commemorate National Crime Victim’s Rights Week.
“All too often we don’t take enough time to honor and celebrate the hard working public servants that help and advocate for crime victims and witnesses, so congratulations to all of the Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy award winners,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “But I need to offer a special congratulations to two of the shining stars in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office: Jacqueline Coelho and Tami Levin. They are tireless advocates and do a great job at setting the bar high for the rest of us.”
The awards and awardees included:
- Tami Levin, Director of Victim and Witness Services – Catherine Bachrach Victim Advocate Award for making significant contributions to the lives of crime victims. She tirelessly advocates on behalf of victims and witnesses by doing all she can, including finding alternative sources of funding and implementing creative programs, to offer support to the city’s underserved victim populations.
- Officer Zoraida Charon, #1505, VAO – District 25, East Division – Barbara McPherson Award/Police Personnel Award for being a tireless advocate of children, elderly and young teens who did not have a voice after a crime was committed against them. Officer Charon joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1987 and now, 28 years later, is a Victim Assistance Officer.
- Jacqueline Coelho, Assistant District Attorney, Chief of the Northeast Bureau – Lynne Abraham Prosecutor Award for her outstanding work in the courtroom. She has developed a reputation for taking care of the victims that she interacts with and has been known to travel out of state to make sure they can make their voices heard during court proceedings.
- Shea M. Rhodes, Esquire – Volunteer Award for her service to the survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, prostitution and human trafficking. Rhodes is currently working closely with the First Judicial District Juvenile Court as they pilot a new court to help trafficked children. She also serves on a steering committee to advise the First Judicial District of Philadelphia and the Department of Human Services on their response to commercially and sexually exploited children in Philadelphia’s foster care system.
- Honorable Lori A. Dumas – Judicial Court Award for her service to the First Judicial District. Her commitment to children and families is personified through her sincere and dedicated efforts on and off the bench. Judge Dumas has presided over the human trafficking pilot program of the Philadelphia Family Court, which she created to address the significant needs of children who have been commercially sexually exploited.
PCVA began in 1980 as the Philadelphia Crime and the Elderly Coalition and was changed to Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy in 1983 to reflect its changing service population.
The annual luncheon is held during National Crime Victim’s Rights Week to honor those who have made significant contributions in addressing or advocating for the needs of crime victims. The mission of PCVA is to promote the rights of crime victims through systematic advocacy, education and collaboration.