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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking, Drug Abuse and Working with Crime Victims

DUBUQUE, IOWA – Seven United States Attorneys’ Offices joined together in a multi-state conference with the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance to host a three day conference in Dubuque beginning today.  Over 100 victim service professionals and law enforcement officers are participating in the summit, which focuses on “excellence in victim services.”

The Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance (IOVA) was established in 1983 for the purpose of educating Iowans regarding victim rights issues.  It is comprised of survivors of crime, witnesses, victim advocates, concerned citizens and related agencies and organizations.

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, Kevin W. Techau, made opening remarks at the conference.  He noted that, “The conference brings in the best and the brightest national speakers who provide cutting edge information and research relating to the best practices for responding to victims of crime.”

During the conference, IOVA kicked-off its new awareness campaign, “Don’t be a bystander, blow the whistle on Crime!”  IOVA President Karl Schilling said, “The idea behind this campaign was to encourage people to help one another yet still be safe.  Whistles are a great way to protect one’s self and to draw attention to get help.”

The inspiring stories of two victim surveyors highlight the conference during the opening and closing programs.

Keynote speaker Kevin Mulcahy recounted how he survived childhood sexual abuse at the hands of his youth soccer coach.  Now, an Assistant United States Attorney working in the Eastern District of Michigan, he prosecutes childexploitation cases.  Mulcahy’s personal experience provided a straightforward, firsthand account of the importance and value of the services provided to victims.

The conference will close with another inspiring life story of resilience and redemption.  As a child, Derek Clark will detail how he suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment, and emotional distress.  He was labeled and misdiagnosed as mentally handicapped.  Clark will tell how he defied the artificial limitations imposed on him to become a successful businessman and motivational speaker.

Over the two and one half day conference, attendees receive training and information on a variety of continuing and emerging victim issues to equip them to better serve crime victims.  Among the scheduled sessions are workshops on assisting drug endangered children; domestic violence; prescription drug abuse; violence against children; human trafficking; working with people in crisis; victim-offender dialogue; and victim compensation.

Those interested in learning more about the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance can access more information at

The media was invited to attend the presentation made by the two survivors.

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Updated August 7, 2015