With support from DRO, Kayla Stacy turns her broken trust into an opportunity for advocacy #AdvocacyMatters
June 21, 2018 / #AdvocacyMatters
"I was lucky to find out about DRO, and they made all the difference. They made me feel like a human, not a piece of evidence to be pulled out of a box. I don't know how I'd have gotten through this process without them."
Kayla's long journey with a chronic pain disability led her to a terrible situation. Her doctor, who had once been the only one willing to help, turned into her worst nightmare as he withheld prescriptions and his care progressed from "medical massages" to sexual assault. She shook off her experience until she learned that his office was suddenly closed - and she knew immediately that what had happened to her must have happened to other people, too. After Kayla went to the police, the county prosecutor eventually pursued misdemeanor charges against the doctor over his abuse of five different women.
It was all very overwhelming, so she called Disability Rights Ohio's Victims of Crime Advocacy program to help her through the complicated process. During the trial, DRO's attorney, April Wheeler, fought fiercely for Kayla's rights as a victim as she faced pushback from the judge and even the prosecutors. Her testimony helped to prove that his actions were intentional, not accidental, and he was convicted on three of the five counts. Kayla is so grateful for April's compassion and support, especially as she moves forward with a civil case against the doctor. She hopes that others turn to DRO for help as well.
You can read more about Kayla's story and her pursuit for justice on DRO's blog next Tuesday.
Crime victims with disabilities face discrimination every day in every phase of the Ohio criminal justice system. Please consider a donation to DRO's Victims of Crime Advocacy program to help fulfill the $20,000 required grant match. Your donation will help us continue to work to make sure people know their rights, have access to hearings, and get effective communication with law enforcement, prosecutors and courts.
If you are a victim of crime with a disability, DRO may be able help you. To connect with our Victims of Crime Advocacy Program, call 614-466-7264 and select option 2 for intake or submit an online intake form.