Crime Victims

Trauma compels us to protect ourselves from threats both real and imagined; it encompasses any event that makes individuals feel their lives or the lives of someone they love are in danger. Any traumatic event represents a broad spectrum of situations that transcend race, age and socio-economic status. The complexity of trauma is why there are many terms to define it.

Today, our country has a strong support system for families of missing children. Law enforcement is better trained. We have better laws, better technology. AMBER Alerts and social media have energized the public. As a result, more of the 460,000 children reported missing to law enforcement every year come home.

As both a trauma surgeon AND police Lieutenant with the Dallas Police Department, I spend an inordinate amount of time mitigating the aftermath of violence. 

Numbering somewhat fewer than four in every 100 adults in America, individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) generate at least one in 10 calls for police service.

Research demonstrates that LGBTQ youth make up a sizeable share of the juvenile justice system.

In 2014, one out of every six runaways reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) was likely a child sex trafficking victim. 

We don’t want to believe it is occurring, so it is difficult to acknowledge. The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a crime deeply affecting the wellbeing of our youth, but it’s also hidden from most of our citizens.

How do communities know if a certain crime is occurring? Most look for traditional data indicators such as calls for service and arrests by law enforcement. However, what if those traditional actions don’t occur?

Human trafficking is a repugnant crime impacting communities across America. Since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in October, 2000, law enforcement, victim service providers and communities have developed new approaches to identify and support victims and prosecute traffickers.

September 30, 2014

September marks the 20th Anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – landmark legislation that continues to improve the lives of women and girls throughout the nation. And yet, as the Vice President said in his recent remarks: