MediaWith a wide variety of expertise addressing issues ranging from mass-casualty response to cybercrime victim assistance to trauma mitigation, NOVA provides experience-based, time-tested insights into the issues confronted by those harmed by crime and crisis.

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Recent articles citing NOVA sources:

Class Action Proceeds About Drivers Data Sales, Privacy, And Protections For Domestic Violence Victims” by George Jenkins, December 4, 2014

“Cell Block Psychic TV Show is ‘Abhorrent’ to Those Who Work with Victims”, by David Moye, Huffington Post – Huff Post Crime, April 18, 2014

A new TV series featuring a psychic who allegedly talks to spirits connected with convicted murderers and crime victims is coming under fire from those who work with grieving families.  Kristy Dyroff, of the National Organization for Victim Assistance, finds the whole concept of the show “abhorrent”.

“Ex-Juvenile Home Worker Seeks Youth’s Medical Records”, by Clark Kauffman, Des Moines Register, April 14, 2014

The Iowa Juvenile Home worker criminally charged with assaulting a teenage resident is trying to use the girl’s medical records to address her credibility at trial.  NOVA’s James Gierke, Director of Victim Services says, “That’s problematic.”

“The Ones That Get Away”, by Brad Heath, USA Today, March 12, 2014

No-extradition warrants allow fugitives to go free.  This is frustrating for law enforcement officials and victim advocates. “That’s one of the worst possible scenarios for a victim,” said Kristy Dyroff, Director of Communications for the National Organization for Victim Assistance.  “They’re scared.  They know who it is and know this person is still out there.”

“Desperate for Answers, Some Cling to Barbour Killing Claims”, by Michael Pearson, CNN, Feb. 18, 2014

Not knowing. It’s the hardest part. That’s the truth facing the loved ones of slain or missing Americans. So when a 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman already facing murder charges told a newspaper reporter that she’d killed before — over and over again, from Alaska to North Carolina — loved ones couldn’t help but sit up and take notice, said Kristy Dyroff, a spokeswoman for the National Organization for Victim Assistance.

“Charges Unlikely from Alleged Confession”, by La Risa Lynch, Austin Weekly News, Feb. 18, 2014

Jimmie Terrell Smith, who hinted to police and in news reports since 2011 that he has information into Yasmin Acree’s disappearance, allegedly told family members he knew about the teen’s death.  Yasmin, then 15 years old, went missing Jan. 15, 2008 from her West Congress Parkway two-flat where Smith was a neighbor.  Smith was arrested in 2009 and charged with a string of rapes between 2006 and 2009.  He is in Cook County Jail, awaiting trial for the alleged rapes of five women, including the kidnapping of two 14-year-old girls.

“When Victims Speak Up in Court – In Defense of the Criminals”, by Andrew Cohen, The Atlantic, Jan. 28, 2014

A death penalty case in Colorado has generated an unusual fight between a district attorney and two parents who oppose capital punishment against the man who murdered their son.

“The Sad, Strange Murder Case Behind @billcomeans”by EJ Dickson, The Daily Dot, Jan. 21, 2014

Des Moines police spent the first weeks of 2014 searching for suspects who have broken into occupied homes and, in some instances, violently accosted the homes’ residents. Since Jan. 1, police have investigated seven home invasions, a sharp uptick from the eleven reported in all of 2013.

“Sixty-Eight Reasons and More…The Legacy of the National Organization for Victim Assistance”, by Donna Gore,, Dec. 11, 2013

No one has all the answers…However, one organization stands out to deliver the clear message that the plight of crime victims is not lost; has not fallen on deaf ears totally; that crime victims are NOT second class citizens; are not to be treated as an “afterthought’… A comprehensive interview with Dr. Will Marling, NOVA Executive Director.

“Knockout Game Leads to Arrests, More Police Patrols”, by Marisol Bello, USA Today, Nov. 26, 2013

Dangerous “knockout” attacks on strangers are leading to arrests, more officers flooding the streets, and more warnings for vigilance from an unsuspecting public. Perpetrators have dubbed the violent practice as the “knockout game,” in which young people try to randomly knock out strangers with one punch.

“Her Husband was Murdered, and Dalene Smoot will No Longer be a Silent Victim”, by Mike Kilen, Des Moines Register, Oct. 26, 2013

For 17 months, Dalene Smoot has been quiet, allowing her husband’s murderer to have his day in court. She has lost much — the love of her life, her home. In December, she will read her victim impact statement in court and will no longer play the role of silent victim.

“Freedom Behind Bars? Orange is the New Black Week”by Zach Schepis, Break Thru Radio, Sept. 26, 2013

The very notion of “freedom” behind bars has been called to attention as 7 states have taken the highly controversial step of allowing prisoners to purchase tablets that function as both an MP3 player and outlet for email communication. While the hope is that this new accessibility will provide inmates the opportunity for community outreach or building a new set of networking skills, concerns exist that giving the incarcerated access to email could spur future cases of harassment.

“Some Prisons let Inmates Connect with Tablets”, by Kimberly Railey, USA Today, August 18, 2013

Proponents say allowing inmates to use tablets will help reintegrate them into society and keep them from returning to jail.Opponents say the tablets may put public safety at risk.

“Exploding Number of Elderly Prisoners Strains System, Taxpayers”, by Daniel Arkin, NBC News, June 29, 2013

As state and federal prisons scramble to cope with the logistical and financial demands of the swelling elderly population, certain advocacy groups and political organizations have proposed potential palliatives to the crisis.  Some jurisdictions have attempted to bring down the size of penal populations by allowing low-risk older prisoners to seek parole if they are deemed a negligible threat.  Opponents of early-release programs, including some victims’ advocacy groups, have pushed back against this proposal.

“Scam Artists Take Aim at Post-Storm Good Will”, Scott McDonnell,, May 21, 2013

Don’t go to storm zone to help on your own. The devastation in Oklahoma has prompted many to try to help, but scam artists are hoping to seize an opportunity to take advantage of this generosity. The most common tactic is phishing. Crooks pose as victims looking for assistance, spinning tales of loss and devastation in hopes of pulling heart strings to loosen purse strings.

“Advocates Push for Crime Victims’ Rights in the US House as Missouri Ceremony Approaches”by Miica Patterson, Missouri Digital News, April 25, 2013

At the eve of a crime victim memorial ceremony at the Missouri state capitol, a federal act was reintroduced to the U.S. House on Thursday, and advocates pushed for crime victim rights.  A subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary heard testimony Thursday from supporters of the Victims’ Rights Amendment.

“Longview Man Charged Five Years Ago Still Waiting Trial” by Richard Yeakley, Longview News-Journal, April 14, 2013

Murder case remains at a standstill.  A  Longview man charged with murder in connection with a shooting five years ago has not been brought to trial – but neither have the charges against him been dropped.

“Pennsylvania Affords Reluctant Witnesses Little Protection”, by Adam Brandolph, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Oct. 26, 2012

Few legal protections exist for reluctant witnesses in criminal cases when authorities want to secure their testimony, experts say.

“The Geography of Pain for Crime Victims”, by Petula Dvorak, The Washington Post, Oct. 11, 2012 

Geography nearly always haunts the victims of violent crime and their families, especially when it happens in a home or in a beloved neighborhood. Those places become tainted by trauma.

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