Aurelia Sands Belle

Aurelia Sands Belle

Vice President
Research Instructor, National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center


Aurelia Sands Belle is a Research Instructor at the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC) at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. The mission of the NMVVRC is to strengthen the nation’s capacity to serve victims and survivors of incidents of mass violence through research, planning, training, technology, and collaboration.

Sands Belle previously served as the Executive Director of the Durham Crisis Response Center, a community-based domestic violence and sexual assault nonprofit advocacy center in North Carolina. Her professional victim advocacy career has included direct services as a sexual assault advocate and leadership as an Executive Director for a rape crisis center and a comprehensive program for crime victims. She also initiated and organized the response to victims and witnesses during the 1996 Centennial Olympic bombing. During her career, Sands Belle has served on national and local crisis response teams for incidents such as the World Trade Center explosion, a student bus crash, tornadoes, hostage situations, prison rioting, and bank robberies.

Sands Belle’s involvement in systemic advocacy began as the first crime victim advocate appointed to the Georgia Governor’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She has also served on the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, Georgians for Victim Justice, and the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI), and also serves on the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission, Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors for the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA).

Sands Belle is the recipient of many awards, honors, and recognitions, including the US Presidential Award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to Crime Victims. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Oglethorpe University and a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Georgia State University.