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Harrisburg Capitol Filled for Crime Victims Rights Week

The Harrisburg chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A) recently held a rally at the Pennsylvania state capitol rotunda in Harrisburg.

The rally gathered bikers, advocates, community leaders and other supporters to help end child sexual abuse.

Bikers Against Child Abuse works to create a safer environment for children by serving in conjunction with local and state officials to lend support to children in need.

“The Bikers Against Child Abuse have worked diligently to empower children and lend their support to those hurt by sexual abuse,” Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Executive Director Delilah Rumburg said. 

Delilah Rumburg and Harrisburg Bikers Against Child Abuse

Each year more than 651,000 children will experience the devastation of child sexual abuse, Rumburg said. More than 22,000 of those children are from Pennsylvania.“More frightening is the fact that nearly 90 percent of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child knows and trusts,” Rumburg said. “These statistics are scary but they are a call to action.”

During the event, Mary Walsh, executive director of the Coalition of Pennsylvania Crime Victim Organizations (COPCVO) honored U.S. Senator Arlen Specter for the actions he has taken in congress to protect victims of crime.

Senator Specter—former Philadelphia district attorney and leader in the Senate on crime victim rights—received the award from COPCVO, PCAR and PCADV in recognition for his record of advocating for the rights of victims.

Pennsylvania's U.S. Senator Arlen Specter speaks at COPCVO rally April 27, 2009.

He authored the Terrorist Prosecution Act, the Armed Career Criminal Act and coauthored the Second Chance Act. Specter also was a valuable leader in the senate during the first passage and subsequent reauthorizations of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) during his tenure as a senator.

The Coalition of Pennsylvania Crime Victim Organizations also held a rally at the rotunda in Harrisburg last week.

The Coalition works to provide opportunities for concerned citizens, programs and organizations to exchange information and ideas; support the sharing and utilization of materials and resources; and address emerging issues in the field.

Survivors shared their stories and advocates called for action during the rally observing the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and the 25th anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) which provides funding for victim services and compensation throughout the U.S.