MOVA—A History of Victim Services
The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) targeted Missouri in 1983 to be one of twenty states to develop a statewide coalition of victim service providers. Missouri was recognized as having one the first victim service programs created in the United States and a commitment from agencies providing victim assistance in locations throughout the state.
In July, 1984, the Governor’s Crime Commission and the Missouri Department of Public Safety sponsored the First Annual Victim Assistance Seminar in Missouri. At that seminar, participants organized a planning committee to further the initial groundwork for MOVA’s future. This committee drew representatives from different geographic and service areas across the state, and they quickly became a cohesive and highly dedicated working group. Organizational, legislative and educational tasks were identified and assigned to develop MOVA’s foundation.
The development of the original By-Laws and election of a Board of Directors was completed in November, 1984. The Directors continued to work on legislative and educational concerns. In September, 1986, the Third Annual Conference was held in St. Louis, with a formal presentation of the By-Laws and the first election by the membership was held. Twenty-five members were elected to the Board of Directors to serve a three-year term of office. The terms were staggered to create openings for new directors and for re-election options.
MOVA’s accomplishments include:
- Missouri’s Victims’ Bill of Rights
- Original Revenues for State Assistance to Victims of Crime
- Original Revenues for Crime Victim Compensation
- Increased Federal Funds for Victim Assistance
- Adult Abuse Act
- Victim Assistance in Juvenile Courts
- Missouri Crime Victims’ Constitutional Amendment
- Passage of Enabling Legislation for the Constitutional Amendment
- Annual Conferences
- Collaboration on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Events
- Establishing Working Guidelines with the Board of Probation and Parole
- Establishing Rural Outreach to Crime Victims in Missouri
- Creating a Partnership with the Sheriff’s Association for Training on Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Implementing a Statewide Victim Advocate Program
The benefits of MOVA membership are:
- Notification of legislative efforts on victims’ issues
- Membership directory on the MOVA website
- Posting of agency events, job announcements on the MOVA Website
- Member rate for annual conference
- Participation on MOVA Committees
- Networking, networking, networking!