Crystal Matheson, a victim of domestic violence, a beneficiary of Marsy’s Law, and now a victims’ advocate, shared her story in a short interview. She discussed her belief in God, her experiences as a crime victim in the court systems, and how the Crime Victims’ Rights Bill (Marsy’s Law) is changing victims’ lives for the better.
Sheri Farmer’s oldest child, Lori Lee, was murdered on June 13, 1977, on her first night of Girl Scout camp. Sheri and her husband, Dr. Bo Farmer, subsequently founded the Oklahoma chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. For decades, Sheri has traveled throughout Oklahoma speaking to numerous organizations, including the state police academy, victim-witness coordinators, and at Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations training sessions.
Kristin Baker's daughters, Eva and Emily, were sexually assaulted as children by their paternal grandfather who is currently being considered for parole. Along with her daughters, Kristin is fighting his release after he has served only nine years of a twenty-two-year sentence.
Priscilla Dawson, a lifelong resident of Jackson, MS, is the mother of three and grandmother of five. When her daughter became the victim of sexual assault, she set out to fight for justice for her daughter. She graduated from John W. Provine High School in Jackson, Mississippi in 1984 before attending Jackson State University where she received my B.S. in Criminal Justice and my M.A. in Criminology & Justice Services. She is currently employed with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office as the Quality Assurance Coordinator.
After her daughter was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend and boss in 2011, Tina Gregg was never notified when the man charged with her daughter's murder left the state. Instead, she found out on Facebook. Her daughter, Brooke Morris, was a vibrant young woman and a loving mother to her 3-year-old son. Her family honors her legacy by sharing her story and fighting for victims' rights in Tennessee.
Ann Bauers is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Justice and Hope for Crime Victims with headquarters in Grayson, Kentucky. Ann’s journey sadly and tragically began when her son Brian Keith Waugh was murdered in his home on July 11, 2003. At that time there was no support group for his family who were devastated by his death. Ann was a driving force behind the first support and advocacy group in the Grayson, Kentucky area. As of January 2019, the organization has become a national non-profit organization and opened an additional chapter in Louisville, Kentucky. Today, National Justice and Hope for Crime Victims serves hundreds of crime victims each year giving them emotional support and linkage to local resources.
Sophia is an advocate and activist for women and girls. For more than 15 years, she has served as a bold change agent for issues regarding sexual assault and civic engagement. To fulfill this mission, Sophia serves on the Survivor Advisory Council of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the Board of Directors of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and is an alumna of the Jo-Ann Davidson Leadership Institute and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs’ new Leadership program. When she is not volunteering with a change-driven organization, she works for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.
Kelly Williams is a survivor and advocate for sexual assault victims. Along with her son, Kelly manages the nonprofit TommyTalkPA. Kelly and Tommy advocate giving victims a voice, regardless of their story. Most importantly, Kelly's work reminds survivors that someone will listen and that they are not alone.
My name is Rachael Venters. This year I will be 37 years old. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois in a poor farming community. Illinois is where I first experienced domestic violence as a teenager at the hands of a boyfriend, whom I later married and divorced. This is also where I met the perpetrator who moved me to Northern Idaho where he tortured me and almost ended my life. I now live in a violence-free home with my two children and our pets.