Treatment of Crime Victims

Doctor holding handsHospitals play an important role in the treatment of crime victims. Victims of violent and nonviolent crimes seek mental and physical help for injuries, as well as forensic evidence collection. In addition, hospital employees are all too often victims of crime.

  • Under the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes Law of 1997, a victim is a person who has suffered serious bodily harm or impairment to one's health, which is attributed directly to a violent crime, or to an individual who has died as a result of such crime.
  • All states and the federal government have passed laws to establish and require a set of victims' rights, including but not limited to respect, dignity, fairness, privacy, limited involvement in law enforcement, timely information and protection from the accused. Ultimately, victims' rights depend on the laws of the jurisdiction where the crime is investigated and prosecuted.

When forensic evidence is collected and processed, a DNA profile is developed and added to CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System. Law enforcement officials can compare this profile against state databases of convicted and arrested profiles in the hopes of finding a match. Every new sample that is added bolsters the database and increases the chance of convicting perpetrators of past, current and future crimes.

In 2018, the Missouri General Assembly took steps to bolster efforts to support victims of crime through passage of House Bill 1246. Requirements were created for sexual assault forensic evidence tracking, testing and storage. Guidelines were established for medical providers and law enforcement agencies regarding the delivery of completed sexual assault kits to crime labs.

Available Resources

  • Human Trafficking
  • Sexual Assault

Missouri Legislation

During spring 2018, the Missouri General Assembly addressed the issue of human trafficking by passing House Bill 1246. The legislation requires, as of March 1, 2019, that posters advertising the national human trafficking website and hotline number are to be posted in public places in Missouri, including hotels, places of public transportation, strip clubs, health care facilities and truck stops.

The provisions of Section 595.120 RSMo require establishments to display the posters “in a conspicuous place in or near the bathrooms or near the entrance” of the establishment. The Department of Public Safety is required to create and have available the posters by Jan. 1, 2019.

As resources are available, they will be linked to this resource page.

ICD-10 Codes

Twenty-nine new ICD-10 codes are available to allow providers to identify and assist victims of human trafficking, as well as to allow coding professionals to translate that information into data that will provide greater insight into the problem. The American Hospital Association’s Hospitals Against Violence initiative, in collaboration with Catholic Health Initiatives and Massachusetts General Hospital's Human Trafficking Initiative and Freedom Clinic, along with support from other hospital and health system members, successfully advocated for the codes.

Other Resources

The Joint Commission issued a Quick Safety bulletin on identifying and managing human trafficking. According to TJC, the U.S. is “one of the largest markets and destinations” for trafficking victims.

Missouri’s Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline responds to reports of abuse, bullying, neglect and financial exploitation. If you suspect someone is being abused, bullied, neglected or exploited, call the hotline at 800/392-0210. The hotline operates 365 days per year from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Hearing-impaired persons may utilize Relay Missouri by calling 1-800/735-2466. Due to the possible need for mandated reporters to report a concern to the Central Registry Unit between the hours of 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. (when the hotline is not in operation), a Mandated Reporter Form is available for use.

The Children’s Division Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is a toll-free telephone line that is answered seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 800/392-3738.

For hearing and speech impaired, please contact Relay Missouri at 1-800/735-2466/voice or 1-800/735-2966/text phone.

Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Video
As part of the Missouri Sexual Assault Response Team, the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Sexual Violence produced a sexual assault evidence kit video. The video includes staff from two of the crime labs and discusses the sexual assault forensic evidence kit.

Additional MCADSV-produced training videos are available, including videos on domestic/sexual violence agency confidentiality and strangulation.

Intimate Partner Violence Toolkit
The toolkit builds a comprehensive and sustainable response to intimate partner violence and human trafficking in your health center, in partnership with social service organizations.

Hanging Out or Hooking Up: Clinical Guidelines on Responding to Adolescent Relationship Abuse
This toolkit, designed for clinicians, focuses on the transformative role of the adolescent health care provider in preventing, identifying and addressing adolescent relationship abuse.