I Will Not Let This Happen to Someone Else
One of the most profound experiences in the world is to be the victim of a crime. It can often change the way you see the world, impacting your ability to trust or put faith into people or institutions. When your safety is compromised, it can take a lot to feel whole again.
In my role as Victims Advocacy Director at Marsy’s Law for Iowa, I meet every day with Iowans who have been the victims of crimes. Despite having something terrible happen to them, these are people who have committed to saying, “I will not let this happen to someone else.” I cannot describe how moving it is to see a parent whose child has been raped or a woman who was physically assaulted commit to making the process better for the next family, or the next woman.
Since starting in January, I have sat across the table from brave mothers who have spoken about the loss of their child at the hands of someone else. I have watched as courageous women have told their heart wrenching stories of violence to legislators and reporters. I have worked with other victim-centered advocacy groups to help support their efforts and give the victims involved in their organizations a voice in the justice system.
While it may seem daunting, survivor advocates have told me this work makes them feel empowered and strong. They are in control and working for a positive change for other Iowa families.
Marsy’s Law for Iowa will give victims in Iowa a bill of rights and protections essential to maintaining safety and dignity. I can tell you firsthand the impact that Iowa victims are having on this process. Their stories are the most influential.
Everyone is in a different place along their healing journey, but if you or someone you know may be interested in learning more about being a survivor advocate, there is a place for you here.