About Us :: History

History of NCVAN
Dick Adams

The North Carolina Victim Assistance Network (NCVAN) was founded by A.A. "Dick" Adams and Lynne Minick, whose children had been murdered in senseless acts of crime. They united to start a volunteer organization to give crime victims a voice in North Carolina.

The founders were individuals who had suffered unfathomable tragedy, but with fierce determination and limitless passion, they became one in vision and action. Their mission: to promote the rights and needs of crime victims by educating North Carolina's citizens and public policy leaders about the devastating impact that crime has on our society. In 1986, NCVAN became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and hired the first employee with funding from the NC Governor's Crime Commission.

NCVAN contributed to the change in victim compensation laws by fighting for the expansion of coverage to include victims of DWI. Not only did NCVAN advocate for change, but was later recognized as a real entity in victims' rights by having the board members appointed to the Victim Compensation Commission. The legacy continues with appointments to various other commissions, such as Sentencing and Police Advisory Commission (1990), NC State Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board (2001) and the Actual Innocence Commission (2001).

Former NCVAN president, Jane Cauthen, addressed whether the Network should have a referral system available to connect victims and resources in an NCVAN newsletter in the late 1980s. The answer was a resounding, YES! NCVAN now provides information on over 1,500 victim service and criminal justice agencies, victim assistance programs, and advocacy groups. This directory is available on the NCVAN website as well as on a disc.

In 2002, NCVAN began the NC Victim Services Practitioner Certification Program which has added further credibility to the profession of Victim Practitioner.

Most importantly, NCVAN has fought a long battle to amend the North Carolina Constitution to include the Victims' Rights Declaration authored by, then Senator, Roy Cooper. NCVAN does not enjoy these successes alone, but in unity with victim advocates across the state in government, private and non-profit sectors here in North Carolina as well as with national organizations, such as NOVA.

For nearly three decades, NCVAN has made great strides in victims' rights, but the journey is far from over. We must press on in educating North Carolina's citizens and public policy leaders. Find out how you can help here.