FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2022


State of Missouri to observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with Capitol ceremony on Thursday April 28


UPDATED APRIL 27 AT 12:45 PM TO REFLECT INDOOR LOCATION DUE TO WEATHER FORECAST 

Governor Mike Parson has proclaimed April 24 to April 30 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Missouri, which coincides with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Missouri’s annual observation, hosted by the Missouri Department of Public Safety Office for Victims of Crime, includes displays, information and representatives of victim service organizations, and will be held at noon on April 28, 2022 on the south steps of the Capitol.

“Missouri crime victims and victim advocates have won new rights within the criminal justice system because of their strength and determination to make the criminal justice system more supportive of victims of crime,” Governor Parson said. “In Missouri, we’re working to further advance our support for crime victims and communities by directing millions of dollars in additional funding to support victim service agencies, law enforcement and prosecutors, and programs that deter crime in economically distressed areas. We will continue to stand up for victims and seek new solutions to combat and prevent crime.”  

In addition to administering the Missouri Crime Victims’ Compensation Program and grant programs that provide millions of dollars to support crime victim advocates, domestic violence shelters and to investigate cyber criminals who target children, the Department of Public Safety has taken on three additional grant programs in the last year:

  • A total of $1.8 million in grants was awarded in September 2021 through the Crimes Against Children/Sex Crimes Grant for hiring additional staff and other expenditures to investigate, prosecute and detect crimes against children.
  • A total of $500,000 in grants was awarded in November 2021 to nonprofit agencies to help deter crime in economically distressed areas of Missouri.  
  • A total of $2.6 million in grants was awarded in April 2022 through a Victims of Crime Grant to support domestic violence service agencies, child advocacy centers, law enforcement and other service providers.

“Our entire Department of Public Safety team is committed to supporting crime victims, agencies that assist victims, and working to help reduce crime in Missouri,” Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said. “We regularly find inspiration for our work in the resilience and determination of crime victims and survivors we work with as they carry on in their fight for justice in their case.”   

This year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week theme is “Rights, access, equity, for all victims.” The theme emphasizes the importance of helping crime survivors find justice by enforcing victims’ rights, expanding access to services, and ensuring equity and inclusion for all.

Thursday, April 28

WHO:               Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe

                        Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney and Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys President Dan Patterson  

                        Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson

                        Guest Speaker Janice Thompson-Gehrke 

                                               

WHAT:            Missouri Crime Victims’ Rights Week Ceremony

WHEN:            12 p.m.

 

WHERE:          Capitol Rotunda

                          Jefferson City, MO

 

The Department of Public Safety Office for Victims of Crime administers programs and grants for crime victims and agencies that assist victims, including the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Program, the Sexual Assault Services Program Grant, the Child Physical Abuse Forensic Examination Program, the State Services to Victims Fund Grant, the STOP Violence Against Women Grant Program, the Protection Program for Victims/Witnesses of Violent Crime and the Missouri Victim Automated Notification System (MOVANS).

MOVANS allows all Missourians to receive automated texts, emails, phone calls or letters any time an offender is scheduled to be released from prison or jail, or have a parole or court hearing. It also allows anyone to receive an automatic notification any time an order of protection has been served in their case. In the last five years, MOVANS has delivered more than 5 million automated phone calls, emails, text messages and letters about offender custody status, court dates and protection order status.

The Missouri Crime Victims’ Compensation program helps pay crime victims’ out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical, mental health/counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages. In the last five years, it has processed over 8,800 applications and awarded more than $26 million to victims and family members who were victims of crimes involving violence or the threat of violence.   

 



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For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail mike.o'connell@dps.mo.gov