Kate Certain can’t show anyone the worst of the injuries she’s suffered as a victim of two violent crimes. A rape left her with emotional wounds, and an accident with a drunken driver left her with invisible neck, back and hip injuries.
But her voice was left intact.
Certain spoke Monday at the commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week at the Boone County Government Center. About 50 people attended the ceremony to honor victims and those who work with them.
Certain, who recalled her experiences to “honor all of the victims needlessly lost to violent crimes,” prefers to think of herself as a survivor.
“I purposely use this term because I am one of the lucky ones,” she said.
Boone County prosecutor Kevin Crane called for more inclusion of victims in the justice process. Crime victims have gone from being considered merely evidence in a crime to playing an integral role in the effort to pursue justice, he said. “The domino effect has a devastating impact on the community,” he said.
Boone County Commissioner Skip Elkin offered an apology to victims “because we spend so much of our time talking about inmates, about criminals and about crime that rarely do we talk victims to if at all.”
Chris Linder, the coordinator of the Rape Education Office at MU called for support, patience and understanding from the community and from those who provide services to victims.
The National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, which was established in 1984.
The local commemoration was sponsored by the Boone County Juvenile Office, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Columbia Police Department, Missouri Board of Probation and Parole, MU School of Social Work and The Shelter.