ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Crime Victim Advocacy Center (CVAC) extends its deepest condolences and sympathies to everyone who lost friends or family members in the Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida. Further, CVAC offers its support and sympathy to all those who were injured in the shootings and all the witnesses, families, and friends.

While we do not know whether the shooting will officially be counted as a hate crime, it certainly has the hallmarks of such.

“Hate (or bias) crimes are particularly concerning because they are perpetrated against victims because of what they are, not who they are," said CVAC’s Director of Advocacy Services, Jessica Meyers, who is also a Doctoral Candidate at Saint Louis University researching hate and bias crimes. "Because of this, they negatively affect entire communities of people who share those characteristics that led the victims to be targeted. This is not just a crime against several hundred people at an LGBTQ nightclub, but an attack on the entire LGBTQ community.”

CVAC recognizes these far-reaching effects and that members of the LGBTQ community and their allies in St. Louis may feel vulnerable, frightened, angry, and hurt. While these are normal feelings, CVAC formally extends the offer of free counseling for anyone in the St. Louis community who has been negatively affected by the Pulse Nightclub shootings. CVAC’s services are free of charge and available to all those affected by crime, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

For questions on the services available to victims or for further comment or interviews, please contact Jessica Meyers (314-289-5654). The Crime Victim Advocacy Center provides crisis response, advocacy and counseling services to victims of any and all crimes in the St. Louis metropolitan area. For more information, visit



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