Kansas has improved its assistance to crime victims during the past 20 years, and state Attorney General Stephen Six wants that effort to continue.
On Thursday, Six visited the GaDuGi SafeCenter, 2518 Ridge Court, as part of a statewide tour to see how victims are being assisted.
"I am traveling the state to recognize the professionals and volunteers, like those here at GaDuGi, who spend time each day helping victims of crime and the survivors of sexual assault," Six said.
GaDuGi provides support to sexual assault victims and conducts prevention and education programs to promote awareness of the plight of victims. GaDuGi is from the Cherokee Indian language meaning "working together in a community sense."
Six, a Lawrence native and until two months ago a Douglas County District Court judge, described his tour as an effort to get to know the service providers and to make sure state policies and procedures are being met. April is Victims' Rights Month as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Kansas and nationwide.
"We gather a lot of information, and we try to distribute it to people throughout the state to make sure all the (victims') centers operate at a very high level," Six said.
Six noted that his office has several programs available for assisting crime victims. He also commended local law enforcement agencies, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson and GaDuGi for their efforts in helping victims of crime and domestic violence.
Sarah Jane Russell, director of GaDuGi, said she wants state officials to make sure there is funding to sustain services for victims.
"A lot of times those funding issues are out of our control, but it's important, and we know that Attorney General Six is committed to that (funding)," Russell said.