Natassia Records, a victim advocate with the Lawrence Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, was recognized Friday with an award for her work to improve domestic violence responses and help survivors through the legal system.
Records has been instrumental in the department’s work to implement a lethality assessment protocol that helps to assess the nature of risk to victims and aims to make connections with resources in the community. She was recognized as an Outstanding System-Based Advocate in the state attorney general’s 2023 Crime Victim Service Awards.
Records has a background as a parole officer and supervising domestic violence and sex offender cases. She received advocate training from the Willow Domestic Violence Center and transferred to LPD’s SVU in early 2020. Her position allows survivors to have a smoother transition from working with law enforcement to receiving care at The Willow, the Kansas Reflector has reported.
“From her work in the courts, Natassia learned how the absence of victim advocacy in the criminal justice system negatively impacted the victims of the offenders she worked with,” according to a news release from the AG’s office. “This is the foundation that fuels Natassia’s commitment and passion for integrating victim assistance within law enforcement and working to foster collaborative and multifaceted change.”
Records told Lawrence city commissioners in September that through case management and a review of local DV reported stats, the department discovered a need for a DV response team, pairing a victim services coordinator and a sworn investigator with a goal to “provide better communication with victims and stronger cases overall, while helping victims heal emotionally and regain their sense of safety.”
LPD Chief Rich Lockhart, Deputy Chief Adam Heffley and several members of the SVU attended the awards ceremony Friday in Topeka.
“Natassia is a compassionate and talented ‘behind the scenes’ member of our department and it was nice to see her honored for the hard work she’s doing for crime victims,” Laura McCabe, a spokesperson for LPD, said in a media email Friday afternoon. “Natassia was nominated by several different people, in and outside the department, including crime victims themselves. She’s helping a lot of people during difficult times. We’re very proud of her accomplishments.”
Records’ efforts to establish the DV outreach team have allowed LPD to increase its capacity in supporting victims through the criminal justice system, Heffley said in the release.
“She is actively bringing community service providers together to produce better long-term outcomes, including prosecution of cases,” he said.
Other award winners recognized Friday include Cristina Janney, editor of the Hays Post/Eagle Radio; Lt. Detective Garen Honn of the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office; and Emily Selby of Stepping Stones Child Advocacy Center in Manhattan.
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Get help in Lawrence
Domestic violence situations: The Willow Domestic Violence Center
- Reach the Willow for help 24/7 at 785-843-3333.
- Find more resources on the Willow’s website at this link.
- National hotline: Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), text “START” to 88788, and/or visit thehotline.org to chat and learn more, 24/7.
File for an order of protection
In Kansas, victim-survivors of stalking and abuse can file for court orders of protection from abuse or stalking online. Visit kspop.org and follow the instructions on the website. The service is available for any county in Kansas. (Note: As of October 2023, The online portal is not working because of ongoing issues with the Kansas online court portal. You can still file for a protection order with traditional paper forms; check this link for more information.)
Learn the warning signs
Read about warning signs of domestic violence and emotional abuse and learn how you can help at this link.