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Douglas County victim witness advocate recognized for improving the lives of crime victims

Release Date: Apr 11, 2019

AG Derek Schmidt and Cindy RilingWICHITA – (April 11, 2019) – Cindy Riling was recognized for her service to crime victims during this week’s Crime Victims’ Rights Conference in Wichita.

Riling was presented the Outstanding System-Based Advocate Award by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt during an awards ceremony today.

Riling is a victim witness advocate in the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office. She has worked with victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, property crimes, families of murder victims, victims of drunk drivers, and with victims of just about every other crime imaginable.

Her dedication to the victims she serves is evident to her colleagues and community partners, as well as to those she serves. One victim began calling her “mom.”  After more than 10 years, this survivor continues to come by the office just to check in with the person who made such a difference in her life: Riling.  Riling has received baby pictures, wedding invitations and countless notes and messages from those she served.

Riling’s expertise is recognized statewide.  She was selected to participate in developing training materials for the Improving Criminal Justice Response initiative, and has provided this training to system-based victim advocates.

“I never thought that anyone would take me seriously or give me help,” one client recently shared about Riling. “I never felt believed. Cindy changed that. I knew that she believed in me. I don’t know that I would have gotten help or left without her support. She was there to help and answer questions along the way. It’s difficult to go through something like this alone. It’s even harder when you are a man. You don’t want to ask for help. I didn’t have to. She offered.”

The Kansas Crime Victims’ Rights Conference was hosted by Attorney General Schmidt and Governor Laura Kelly. 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.

Photo caption: Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt presents the Outstanding System-Based Advocate Award to Cindy Riling, a victim witness advocate in the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, at the Crime Victims’ Rights Conference in Wichita.

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