The Missouri Victim Assistance Network (MOVA) established the Carol Vittert Volunteer of the Year Award in honor of Carol Vittert who founded the first victim assistance program in the nation – Aid for Victims of Crime, Inc. in St. Louis in 1972. Carol was, in effect, the first volunteer in the victims’ movement and she started AVC with a group of friends who volunteered to go to the police department, pick up lists of victims, and then went to their homes to offer support. Carol is still active today as a member of the AVC Board. This award will recognize an individual who has made considerable contributions to the field of victim services as a volunteer. This award symbolizes the immeasurable spirit of commitment to the cause of creating a world that treats victims with dignity, respect, and compassion that only a volunteer can possess.
The Missouri Victim Assistance Network (MOVA) established the Leona Rivers-Jewell Award in memory of Leona Jewell who died in February 1994 in a car fatality on her way to a Children’s Justice Act Meeting for the State of Missouri. At the time of her death, Leona was active in MoVA and had served as a past president. Leona was also a respected child therapist. To honor her accomplishments, this award will recognize individuals who have provided significant contributions in the treatment of and/or advocacy for child sexual abuse victims, in the prosecution of child sexual abuse cases, and/or in the area of legislation to strengthen child sexual abuse laws.
The Missouri Victim Assistance Network (MOVA) established the Judith McDonald-Compere Award in memory of Judy Compere who died of lung cancer on April 15, 1993 in Springfield, Missouri. She was a founder of MoVA and the Executive Director of the Missouri Victim Center which, at the time of her death, was one of the first comprehensive victim centers in the United States. To honor her accomplishments, this award will recognize individuals, groups, or organizations who have achieved or dedicated significant contributions to victims or the victim movement.
The Missouri Victim Assistance Network (MOVA) established the James P. Damos Award in honor of James P. Damos. Jim was one of the original board members of MOVA, a former NOVA board member, and Chief of Police of the University City, Missouri Police Department for 27 years. As Chief of Police, Jim created the first law-enforcement-based victim services unit in Missouri. He has been a strong voice for victims and victim issues, especially among law enforcement agencies. This award is to honor professionals in the fields of law enforcement, social services, and the judicial system. Nominations will recognize an individual who has made a significant difference to victims and/or victim services above and beyond their designated responsibilities.