Cathy Harper Lee at Training

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It is Ohio Crime Justice Center's Mission to protect the rights of Ohio's state and federal crime victims.

We are here for you. 

Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center was founded on the simple principle that Ohio’s state and federal victims of crime deserve and require legal representation to enforce and protect their constitutional and statutory legal rights throughout the criminal justice process. 

Victims' rights are civil rights. 

There is a national movement to bring balance to the criminal justice system by establishing crime victims’ rights legal clinics in every state.  As of today, twelve states now have crime victims’ rights legal clinics. Ohio is one of those progressive states.

Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center is the only crime victims’ rights legal center in the State of Ohio that provides free legal representation in criminal court to citizens victimized by crime to protect their legal rights.


Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center provides:

Free legal representation to state and federal victims of crime throughout Ohio to ensure their constitutional and statutory rights are enforced and protected from the time a crime is first reported throughout the criminal justice process.

Free Victims’ Rights Training to hospitals, victim advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and the community to promote awareness of crime victims’ rights laws and to ensure consistent systemic implementation of crime victims’ rights laws. 


Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center assists all state and federal victims of crime including victims of homicide, sexual violence, domestic violence, assault, stalking, and fraud.


  • "...the National Center for Victims of Crime says the fact that 61 percent (or 15 million) violent, personal and property crimes went unreported, points to an overall lack of confidence in the criminal justice system." National Center for Victims of Crime "The Department of Justice estimates that only 30% of rapes and sexual assaults are ever reported. Of those reported, only 20% of the cases are prosecuted." - Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice 
  • "...there is a significant - if not widening - gulf between the public's expectations and the current performance of the criminal justice system." - Council of State Governments 
  • "Victims needs and rights are often ignored. Policies and practices that respect victims' rights and address victims' needs will benefit the entire community and the entire justice system. Victims should be the primary customers of the justice system." - International Association of Chiefs of Police 
  • "Victims are overlooked in the criminal justice system. We need to strike a better balance between the rights of the victim and the rights of the accused." - National Sheriff's Association
Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center has helped over 2000 state and federal victims of crime obtain equal access to justice:
  • 71% of our victims are children
  • 52% are victims of child sexual abuse
  • 20% are victims of domestic violence
  • 12% suffer from child abuse
  • 8% are assaulted
  • Nearly 75% of the children assisted are girls and close to 90% of the adults assisted are women.

For its innovative work on behalf of crime victims, Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center has been honored with the following:

  • Medical Mutual Smart Business Leadership - January 2018
  • National Foundation for the Improvement of Justice - August 2017
  • National Crime Victim Law Institute – Gail Burns-Smith Excellence in Victims Services Award – June 2014
  • National Organization for Victim Assistance “Special Tribute-And Justice for All” - September 2013.
  • Ohio Senate “Special Recognition” - July 2013
  • Ohio House of Representatives – “Special Recognition” - July 2013
  • Liberty Township Fire Department/Rewind 103.5 “Hometown Hero”  - November 2010
  • Diane VonFurstenberg "People's Voice"  Ceremony held at the United Nations. Recognized as one of three American women whose courage, vision, leadership and commitment to producing positive change is helping other women. -  March 2010
  • “20 Outstanding Women You Should Know” Sunny 95, - January 2010
  • Featured in author Ben Sherwood's book entitled "The Survivors Club" - 2008
  • Featured in People Magazine: Hereos Among Us - September 7, 2008
  • Ohio Attorney General 2007 Special Achievement Award
  • Rotary Club of Columbus Service Above Self Award - 2007
  • Rotary Club of Columbus Paul Harris Fellow Award - 2007
  • Columbus Ohio City Major Michael B. Coleman Certificate of Recognition - 2007
  • Ohio House of Representatives Special Tribute Award - 2007
  • Powell Chamber of Commerce Powell Citizen of the Year Award - 2006
  • Soroptimist International Improving the Lives of Women Award - 2006
  • Kiwanis Club of Powell Making a Difference in a Child's Life - 2005
  • Appearances on America’s Most Wanted, O’Reilly Factor, Scarborough Country, ONN, Scared Monkeys, Justice Interrupted, WLW-Bill Cunningham, WCMH, WBNS, WSYX, FOX, and others.
  • Profiled by nationally syndicated columnist Mike Harden - 2005