Missouri Department of Public Safety hopes to help crime victims

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Public Safety is reaching out to crime victims.

April 10-16 is National Crime Victims’ Rights week and the Capitol hosted a ceremony to observe and raise awareness about victims Monday afternoon.

Speaker Rose Whitrock fell victim in 2009 when her daughter Gina Stallis was shot to death in her home.

“I would tell you that it gets easier, but it doesn’t,” Whitrock said.

She wishes she’d paid more attention to crime and victims around her before her daughter passed.

“I think we’re very sad when we hear all the different things that happen on the news, murders and home invasions, but it’s not that I don’t think we’re sympathetic to that. I think that we’ve all gotten really numb and I’m sorry that I didn’t pay more attention to what was happening in our city,” said Whitrock.

Missouri was the eighth state to guarantee victims’ rights in 1992.

Victims have the right to be present at criminal justice proceedings, the right to be informed in advance of hearings involving the defendant and the right to restitution. 

“There was time way back when I first started in law enforcement that victims were often treated as just witnesses to the crime, they were evidence,” said Department of Public Safety Director Lane Roberts.

The Department of Public Safety has numerous programs, agencies and grants for crime victims.

“Today because we provide services for those victims, we recognize that being a victim is different than anything else,” he said.

Since 2009, $40 million was given to more than 13,000 Missourian victims according to Governor Jay Nixon.

“I think it’s really important for victims to take advantage of all the services that are provided to them.  Let the law enforcement agencies help you, let the crime victims office help and most importantly give yourself permission to grieve,” Whitrock said.

The following are agencies and programs that Missourians can contact for help if they have fallen victim to 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