There are certain rights afforded to victim’s of crime in Missouri, per MO statute 595.209
These rights can be invoked in writing, to include but not limited to the right to:

  • To be notified of court hearings.
  • To be present at court proceedings.
  • To be informed if the defendant is released.
  • To have recovered property returned.
  • To be provided a secure waiting area for court.
  • To be informed of assistance available.
  • To receive restitution when possible.
  • To appear at sentencing and make a statement.
  • To be informed of the disposition of the case
  • Case Status Notification
  • Criminal Justice System Assistance/Information
  • Court Accompaniment
  • Restitution Assistance
  • Crime Victim Compensation Assistance
  • Community Resource Assistance

The VOCA Circuit-Based Victim Advocate Program is made available through a federal funding program, Victims of Crime Act, and monitored by the Missouri Department of Social Services.

  1. Be prepared to call 911. Carry a cell phone with you. Check with your phone service provider to see the best way to call for emergency assistance. Set up speed dial for emergency phone numbers. Teach your children how to call in case of an emergency & what information needs to be given to the operator.
  2. Tell someone. If you feel threatened by anyone, tell a trusted friend, family member, employer, co-worker, child’s caregiver, or health care provider. Give this person details as to why you feel threatened. Devise a code word with this person, to call the police. Work with a neighbor & develop signals that when used, they know to call the police.
  3. Know where you will go. Have a room in your house with a strong lock. Stay away from rooms that have no exit doors and away from areas, like kitchens, where weapons are accessible. Have a plan on where you will go or who you will contact in case of an emergency (shelter, motel, friend, family or police station.) If you are being followed drive to a police station, hospital, fire station, or a drive-thru restaurant.
  4. Keep copies of all important paperwork. Keep copies in a safe, easily accessible location or give to a person you trust. This should include identification for you & your children, insurance information, difficult to replace documentation and extra keys. Keep a set of keys in a safe place that you can get to quickly. Keep a suitcase/bag packed. Hide it or keep it with a friend.
  5. Install new or extra locks. The locks on your doors should be changed if you feel threatened by someone who had a key. Install metal doors to replace wooden doors. Add additional locks to doors and windows.
  6. Have a security system installed. Add motion detectors inside & outside. Add more outside lights.
  7. Screen your phone calls. Let the answering machine/voicemail pick up. Have a co-worker screen your calls without admitting if you are there or not. Record the calls from the person you feel threatened by.
  8. Ask people you trust to walk you to your car. Stay within a group and in a well-lit area. Constantly be aware of your surroundings. If you are walking alone, talk to someone on your cell phone or pretend to be speaking with someone on your phone. Carry a key chain alarm & pepper spray. Take self-defense classes.
  9. Remember to yell “fire”. This will draw more attention than yelling for help. Think of other shocking statements, such as “naked man” or “ugly woman”.
  10. Pay attention. Stay away from poorly lit areas. Look around and under your car for people hiding or something that could damage your car. Always keep the doors locked & check the back seat.
  11. Keep records & documentation. Keep a journal of unusual activities including the date and time. Document everything you can think of about your encounters with the person that you are threatened by. If injured, take pictures as the bruises progress. Keep all medical records of injuries.