ST. LOUIS — Several people have accused St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's office of mismanaging their cases, including a domestic violence victim who shared her story and what she hopes to see when a new circuit attorney is named.
(Editor's note: This story discusses details of domestic violence, which may be disturbing to some readers.)
The courageous woman, whose identity 5 On Your Side is protecting, suffered years of domestic abuse. She said Gardner and the circuit attorney's office have only victimized her further.
"You can't get through to that office whatsoever. I've called it I don't even know how many times and my family has, too, and every single voicemail is full. My prosecutor, she is a good prosecutor, but she's never emailed me back," the woman said.
The woman said her abuser is facing several domestic assault charges.
"He literally almost killed me in my home," the woman said. "I'm worried about the next woman that he manipulates and probably kills because he's a repeat offender."
The woman said the next circuit attorney neeeds to "free up some money" and "inject resources" into the office.
When Gardner announced her resignation Thursday afternoon, the woman said the circuit attorney was "only thinking about herself."
"She’s not thinking about the victims whatsoever, and then to find out she’s taking nursing classes at SLU? That boiled me almost to insanity," she said.
St. Martha's Hall, a domestic violence support group, reacted after hearing the woman's story.
"Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors and not an isolated incident. As a community we need to get better at not only identifying the signs of abuse but focusing on why the abuser believes they have the right to use violence.
"To end domestic violence we must send a consistent, strong message that abuse is unacceptable."
Gardner's last day in office is June 1.
Resources for those experiencing domestic violence
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the Safe Connections Crisis Helpline at 314-531-2003. You can also text that number from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, free of charge.
Alternatives to Living In Violent Environments also has a crisis line at 314-993-2777, and they have a number for Franklin County at 800-941-9144.
The Women's Safe House can be reached 24 hours a day at 314-772-4535.