Hundreds of crime victims and their advocates are meeting in Des Moines this morning. The two-day Crime Victim Rights Conference is entitled “Justice: A Delicate Balance.” Marti Anderson is director of the Crime Victim Assistance Division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office says they want to send the message that victims need to be attended to. Crime survivors, law officers, lawyers, judges and social workers are attending the conference. Anderson says the 2001 legislative session did little to help the plight of crime victims.Anderson says the only victim services funded by the Iowa legislature are domestic abuse and sexual assault centers. She says the amounts of money allocated to the programs have not been increased in several years. Anderson says she’d like to see the state take a larger role in ensuring the rights of crime victims.The conference, being held at the Savery Hotel, features seven national speakers including Sue Ellen Fried, author of the book “Bullies and Victims: Helping Your Children Through the Schoolyard Battle.” A candlelight vigil will be conducted at 4:45 this afternoon in the hotel’s grand ballroom.
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