Victims Finding Help
Pat combs lost her parents when she was a high school freshman, they were two victims of gun violence. Now, she's sharing her story with crime victims and advocates for crime victims' rights.
"I feel that these people have been victims for too long," said Sharon Harrison of the Russell House Shelter, "they have not received the attention they need to help them through this.
Combs feels the ceremony is a step toward giving victims the attention they deserve. "Too many times, focus is on the criminal and what the criminal has done and the victim is kind of forgotten," said Combs.
Thursday's ceremony focused primarily on victims of domestic violence and sexual assualt. In 2005, 1,500 women reported rape in Missouri and 40,000 reported being victims of domestic violence. In addition to the special ceremony honoring crime victims, various resources were also on hand to help them through their experiences.
"At Rainbow House, we see about 300 kids in a calendar year and provide interviews," said Janice Bakutes of the Rainbow House, "we also provide counseling to families and support."
As for Combs, she is thankful for the victims services unit. "Many times I have called, they have been very patient and just listed to me and I am thankful for that," said Combs.
Senator Michael Gibbons introduced a bill to ensure victims of sexual assault no longer have to pay for the costs of evidence collection.
Reported by Lorenzo Hall.