WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) hosted the annual Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC) awards. Each year Reps. Poe and Costa, along with other members of the bipartisan VRC, host an awards ceremony to honor outstanding individuals for their tireless efforts to support and empower victims of crime. Poe & Costa co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus in 2005.

“Victims of crime are not statistics,” said Rep. Poe. “They are real people with real stories who have had something bad happen to them. Each year the VRC has the privilege of honoring the quiet heroes who dedicate their lives to assisting and advocating for victims of crime. These community warriors deserve to be recognized for their hard work.”

“Today, the Victims’ Rights Caucus honors victims, survivors, and the heroes who selflessly support those who have suffered from a violent crime or domestic violence,” said Rep. Costa. “These advocates gladly assist those in need of compassion and strength. Today’s awardees have helped survivors overcome some of their darkest moments and regain their lives.” 

Special Recognition Award

Robin Smith, Video/Action

Video/Action is a not-for-profit production company that provides a voice for individuals whose stories were not often head in the mainstream media.

Allied Professional Award

Sergeant Jeff Kertson, Fresno County Sheriff’s Department

Sergeant Kertson works to oversee numerous units for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department including: the domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, sex offender registration, missing persons/runaways units as well as the Child Sexual Predator Program and The Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Ed Stout Memorial Award

Ms. Mary Travers Murphy, Family Justice Center of Eric County (FJCEC), Executive Director

Through her work with the FJCEC, Ms. Murphy has raised funds, resources and the public profile of domestic violence victims.

Lois Haight Award of Excellence and Innovation

Ms. Kerri True-Funk, Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services (RACES), Executive Director

Ms. True-Funk along with RACES works to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault among individuals with disabilities through empowerment and education.

Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award

Mr. William Kellibrew, IV, William Kellibrew Foundation, Founder

After facing trauma and adversity as a child Mr. Kellibrew decided to use his personal story to help others. The William Kellibrew Foundation is a community-driven partnership that advocates on breaking the cycles of violence and poverty.

Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness

Truckers Against Trafficking

Truckers Against Trafficking is a not-for-profit group that works to educate, raise awareness and combat trafficking in the trucking and travel plaza industries.