As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month commemoration, Mariam El-Menshawi ’11, director and principal attorney of McGeorge School of Law’s Victims of Crime Resource Center (VCRC), was recognized by SafeQuest Solano Inc. as a Solano County Local Hero. She was the guest of honor at the annual Local Heroes recognition event on April 17.
“I am humbled to be receiving this award. I consider it a privilege to serve our community and assist crime victims as they navigate the criminal justice process,” said El-Menshawi. “A significant part of what we do at the Victims of Crime Resource Center is educating service providers about victims’ rights and empowering them with this critical information to ensure their clients have a meaningful voice and role in the criminal justice system.”
El-Menshawi was drawn to victims’ issues as a law student at McGeorge, where she worked directly with victims and conducted research in the VCRC. She has been director of the center since 2012 and has dedicated her career to helping victims of crime understand and enforce their rights and assisting them in navigating in the criminal justice system. El-Menshawi and her team at the VCRC recently provided legal guidance to SafeQuest Solano on a case involving a possible violation of an individual’s privacy rights. The information they provided helped protect a sexual assault survivor’s confidential records.
In addition to her work at VCRC, El-Menshawi serves on the U.S. Attorney’s Hate Crime Task Force, California Office of Emergency Services VOCA Steering Committee, Financial Abuse Specialist Team and Silence=Violence Network. She is also co-chair of the Sacramento Victims of Crime Legal Forum. She regularly presents on Marsy’s Law (Victims’ Bill of Rights) and other related topics to service providers, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and community groups. In 2016, she received the Legal Advocacy Award from the National Crime Victims Law Institute and was invited by California Governor Gavin Newsom to attend a discussion about victims’ rights issues held last month.
The VCRC has operated the State of California's confidential, toll-free 1.800.VICTIMS line since 1984. VCRC offers a wide range of services to victims and their families, victim service providers and victim advocates. For more information, visit the VCRC website at 1800victims.org, email 1800VICTIMS@Pacific.edu or call 1.800.842.8467.
Founded in 1976, SafeQuest Solano Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing prevention education, advocacy and intervention services to those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.