What is Victim Advocacy?

Being the victim of a crime is something that most citizens never experience.  However, when a crime occurs it’s difficult to know happens next after the police become involved.  Most of the time, police will conduct their investigation, submit the report, and that will be the last time a citizen hears from law enforcement until the court process begins.

We want to smooth out the entire process in order to assist victims in understanding what happens once the police conclude their role in making a case.  Part of our mission is to prioritize victims’ rights and engage them during the complicated process of prosecution.  To do that, we emphasize reaching out to victims through our Victim Advocates in addition to each attorney assigned a case as soon as we get the report and before a charging decision is made.

Here, you will find useful information on how this process begins, the role of the people you will interact with, restitution, and the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.  We also have a detailed Victim Rights and Responsibilities Booklet to answer many commonly asked questions about the criminal justice system.

If there are any questions you have that are not answered here, feel free to call us and speak to one of our Victim Advocates.  We are happy to help in any way we can.

Kelsea Hulsey

Kelsea began working for our office in April of 2019 as Victim Advocate.  She holds a Bachelors in Communications from Lindenwood University, and previously worked for a private law firm for five years prior to joining our office. Kelsea is tasked with handling all mandatory victim notification cases such as violent crimes, sexual assault cases and domestic violence cases. Kelsea is here to offer information, comfort and understanding for victims of crime and guide them through the criminal justice system. She keeps victims informed of what is happening with their cases, refers them to services as needed such as counseling or financial assistance, assists in obtaining restitution or reimbursement from the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, and being the primary point of contact for our office for victims to obtain information.

khulsey@sfcgov.org

Rachael Thomas

Rachael began with our office in October 2019.  She serves as our misdemeanor and property crime victim advocate. Rachael has 15 years experience in customer service and 5 years experience in grassroots marketing and community networking.  She is passionate about helping people find solutions and mentoring them.  Rachael also has a deep admiration for veterans and the military as the spouse of a United States Marine.  She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling when she is able.

rthomas@sfcgov.org

Our Victim Advocates regularly notify victims of upcoming hearings and court dates.  We also encourage the use of the Missouri Victim Automated Notification System (MOVANS) and VINELink for automatic notifications to victims.

Summary

The Crime Victims’ Compensation Program financially assists people who have sustained physical, emotional, or mental harm or trauma resulting from the crime upon which the claim is based by paying for reasonable medical and counseling expenses as well as lost wages if the victim was gainfully employed on the crime date. If the victim was killed as a direct result of the crime, the Program can also help the victim’s family members by assisting with the cost of funeral and burial expenses. Counseling expenses can also be considered for family members residing with the victim at the time of the crime or who witnessed the crime. Dependent family members can also receive loss of support if the victim was gainfully employed on the crime date.  You can read more specifics at https://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/cvc/

How It Works

Victims of certain crimes may also be eligible for compensation under Missouri’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund.  Contact our Victim Advocates or review these CVCF Instructions to see if you are eligible.

If it is determined that you are eligible, please complete the Crime Victim’s Compensation Application and send it to us.

Our Victim Advocates will assist in applying for the CVCF and submit the paperwork when we have received them from an eligible victim.

Collecting restitution on behalf of victims is an important part of the criminal justice process.  A primary goal of our office is to see that victims of crime are properly compensated for their loss when it is appropriate.  If you have suffered injury or the loss of property as a result of criminal activity and charges have been filed, please take a few minutes to complete and send us a Victim Impact Statement so that we include restitution in a case if it is appropriate.

SFCPA Guide to Restitution

SFCPA Restitution Claim Form

SFCPA Victim Impact Statement