I See the Pain and Suffering

For 20 years, I have been involved in law enforcement, where each and every day I work with folks in our community who are victims of crime. No one asks to become a victim, and it can happen to anyone at any time. 


Once a person is thrown into the system as a crime victim their lives are turned upside down. This is not just because of the horrific act that happened to them, but also the subsequent process they endure as they try to navigate our criminal justice system. This system inherently favors the accused and victims are constantly being forgotten. We must do what we can to make sure Iowans who become victims of crime are given a voice in the process, that they are not forgotten. 


During this legislative session, our elected officials in Des Moines should pass a victims’ rights amendment to our state constitution. Every day, I see the pain and suffering victims go through and I want to do everything I can to make sure their rights are enshrined in our constitution. 


The accused has rights and it’s time to give rights to the victims. The right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect; the right to notification of the status of the offender; the right to be read these rights, are all vitally important to ensuring our legal justice system works better for crime victims. 


Victims deserve fairness in our system and legislators must pass this today.

Shawn Armstrong

Bloomfield Police Chief