Wichita organizations recognized for service to crime victims

Derek Schmidt (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

TOPEKA, Kan. — Two Wichita organizations were recognized for their service to crime victims Wednesday at the Crime Victims Rights Conference in Topeka.

The Wichita Children’s Home and the Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit were each presented the Outstanding Victim Service Organization Award by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt during an awards ceremony.

The Wichita Children’s Home was founded in 1888 as the city’s first orphanage to “support and care for destitute and homeless children.” Today, the Home offers the only emergency, temporary residential care for children in the Wichita area. The Wichita Children’s home has led efforts to address domestic minor sex trafficking through outreach programs, counseling for victims and providing for victims’ needs in its residential facility. The Home is the state’s only staff-secure facility for domestic minor sex trafficking victims.

The Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit is a joint effort between the Wichita Police Department, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and social workers from the Kansas Department for Children and Families. The unit works as a team to investigate more than 2,000 cases of child abuse, missing and abducted children, Internet exploitation, human trafficking and other crimes against children every year. The Unit has worked to combat human trafficking for more than 16 years. The unit extends its reach beyond Sedgwick County, frequently assisting in cases throughout the state and region.

The Kansas Crime Victims’ Rights Conference was hosted by Attorney General Schmidt and Governor Sam Brownback. The conference featured a number of speakers and trainers focused on raising awareness of emerging crimes and offering new approaches to respond to enduring crimes, such as child abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking.

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