Attorney General Mark R. Herring commemorated National Crime Victims' Rights Week by honoring ten victims' advocates at the second annual Unsung Heroes Awards ceremony in Richmond on April 12. The Unsung Heroes Awards honor Virginians who have dedicated themselves to serving victims and fighting for their rights.

Judy Holl, Alexandria’s Director of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program, received one of the Attorney General’s prestigious Unsung Hero Awards for “her life-long dedication to victims of crime,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter.

“Judy serves as the Director of my office's Victim/Witness Advocacy Program," said Porter. "She has served as a victim's advocate for her entire 29-year career, and has served as the director of our program for the past 16 years. In addition to her supervisory duties, Judy acts as a victim advocate in the most serious cases my office prosecutes. She is the ‘go-to’ advocate for homicide cases, and has worked on a number of grave murder cases, to include the serial murder case of Commonwealth v. Charles Severance.

“Judy has an amazing ability to connect with victims, whom she always treats with dignity. She is kind and empathetic, and adapts her demeanor and response to the myriad ways in which a victim might express their grief. In every single case, Judy finds the words necessary to provide a modicum of solace.

“Throughout her career, Judy has been guided by one simple principle: a moral obligation to help victims of crime through their most trying times. It is impossible to adequately express her qualities and resolve in a few paragraphs. It must suffice to say that she is humble to a fault, and that she epitomizes the ideal of being an ‘Unsung Hero’ to victims. I am privileged to have Judy working in my office,” Porter said.

Hall has been in the field of victim services since 1988, working first as a student sexual assault activist, and then as a volunteer with the Stephanie Roper Committee (now the Maryland Crime Victim Resource Center) where she provided court companion services to victims and facilitated support groups for homicide and sexual assault survivors. Since 1992, she has worked in Alexandria's Victim/Witness Assistance Program. In 2001, she had the honor to provide support services at the pentagon family assistance center following the September 11th attack, and in 2002 she was promoted to Victim/Witness Coordinator.