PROTECTING THE VICTIMS

CRIME PATSY DAV started Victims Outreach a year after her fourteen-year-old daughter was abducted and murdered four years ago. Day and her family were totally unprepared for the media bombardment and the ensuing ordeal with police, not to mention the anger and grief.

So Day began a sort of crisis management service for victims. Recently, after steady pressure from Day, the chief magistrate’s office sent memos to remind local judges that the law allows them to take threats against the victim by the accused into account when setting bail. Previously, judges setting bail in rape and assault cases might have been unaware that the alleged attacker had tried to scare the victim into silence. In addition, police officers will soon begin noting on forms that go to the bail-setting judges whether the victim has been threatened in any way.

And Day is far from finished. “My vision,” she says, “is to have a mobile crisis team that would go out on death notification with the police.” The team could help the survivors through the trauma of dealing with the press and the complicated judicial system. “My vision is to help ever)’ crime victim in Dallas.” she says.

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