Our History

Our Story

The National Center for Victims of Crime’s vision emerged from one family’s tragedy: in 1985, Ala Isham and Alexander Auersperg established the National Center for Victims of Crime, originally the Sunny Von Bulow National Victim Advocacy Center. Motivated by their mother’s victimization and their family’s traumatic experience with the criminal justice system, our founders believed it was fundamentally wrong that crime victims were often shut out of and “revictimized” by the very system that was supposed to help them. They wanted to redefine what justice for crime victims means by giving them a voice in the criminal justice system.

Since those early days, the National Center for Victims of Crime has become the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for victims of all types of crime and for the people who serve them. We have played a critical role in shaping the national discussion on the impact of crime and what victims need in order to recover.

We have enabled more people — elected officials, policy makers, business leaders, law enforcement officers, judges, media representatives, educators, healthcare providers — to understand that justice for victims involves more than holding offenders accountable for their crimes. It involves providing victims full participation in the criminal justice process and the means to overcome the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of crime. At the National Center for Victims of Crime, we call this concept parallel justice. Simple fairness.

In Memoriam

Sunny von Bulow, National Center Inspiration

The National Center for Victims of Crime extends its deepest sympathy to our founders, Ala Isham and Alexander Auersperg, for their mother’s passing. 

New York Times story
Vanity Fair

Dominick Dunne, Tireless Crime Victim Advocate

Beverly Sills, National Center's First Board Member

The National Center for Victims of Crime pays tribute to Beverly Sills for her many years of support.

Joan Rivers, former National Center board member

The National Center for Victims of Crime mourns the passing of our friend and supporter Joan Rivers.