U.S. attorney general praises Jefferson City woman for crime victim services
WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch awarded a Jefferson City woman with a "Special Courage Award" Tuesday for her role in helping crime victims.
Kim Case, the advocate case manager for the Missouri Sheriff's Association, used her personal experience as a crime victim to help others in similar positions.
In 1990, Case was kidnapped from her driveway and sexually assaulted multiple times while four men held her hostage for more than 15 hours. She said she escaped when one of her captors fell asleep.
Case began working as a crime victims' advocate soon after she was a victim. She said advocates help remind victims the system is working for them and not against them.
"The criminal justice system as we know it is so dynamic and tough - it's a maze to get through," Case said. "So it's really important for them to have someone explain the process and to walk that journey with them."
Aside from her work as a crime victims' advocate, Case has also been vocal in the legislature to ensure victims' rights. She played a role in passing the Victims' Rights Constitutional Amendment in Missouri in 1992.
She works for the Missouri Victims' Assistance Network as well, a statewide group of advocates who work to train and forward victims' rights. She said victim advocacy in law enforcement is fairly new, and people have learned a lot about victims since advocacy programs have existed.
"We used to think that victims should just be able to tell the facts of what happened in a chronological order and not leave anything out," Case said. "We've found that with trauma, it effects the brain's ability to recall the events of what they saw or were victims of."
Case said she thinks Missouri law enforcement does a great job with victim advocacy.
"They do a terrific job in our state at really working to balance their own objectives of interviewing and collecting data at the scene while also treating the family and victims with respect," Case said.
She said the award from the attorney general served as inspiration for people who work in crime victim services.
"Hearing the words that that service was appreciated and they recognized how important that is for the citizens of our country, validated me and the work we've done to create our crime victims unit," Case said.
The award was a part of the National Crime Victims' Service Awards in Washington D.C., and it was presented by the Department of Justice. The ceremony was during National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
The following is a list of agencies people can contact in Missouri if they're victims of a crime.
- Missouri Attorney General’s Office
- Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Missouri Department of Corrections
- Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
- Missouri Department of Public Safety- Crime Victims’ Compensation
- Missouri Department of Public Safety- Crime Services Unit
- Missouri Department of Social Services- Division of Youth Services
- Missouri Office of Prosecution Services
- Missouri Secretary of State’s Office- Safe at Home Program
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving
- Missouri Assistance Network
- Missouri Sheriff's Association