April 7 – 13 has been designated as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week across the country. The Marsy’s Law for Iowa team has been gearing up for a special week of highlighting the challenges crime victims face every day and honoring the victim service providers that empower Iowa victims.
We have some fun and easy ways you can share in this special week with us.
-Light it up!
We’re turning some cool structures across the state purple with lights and we want to challenge homeowners to put a purple bulb in you outdoor lights to support victims of crime for the week. We will have some bulbs available – so let us know if you want to participate. We’ll ask you to take a picture and share on social with the #NCVRW2019 hashtag
Help us draw attention to this week with a letter to the editor in your local paper. Your voice is the most important when it comes to speaking out for crime victims. You can find more facts about the week here https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/ or let us know if you need some help.
We’ll be posting all kinds of photos, stories and videos from the week on our social media pages and our blog. Be sure to like the photos, share with your followers and give some encouraging thoughts for victims as the week goes on.
Thanks for your continued support.
As a college student at Drake University, I was looking for internship opportunities to enhance the work I was doing in the classroom, and let’s be honest, build my resume. I began working with Marsy’s Law for Iowa because I thought their cause was a good one and it allowed me to work in a somewhat political effort while still being nonpartisan.
What I gained from my internship far surpassed my expectations. Not only was I able to work on a variety of projects that truly expanded my work experience, but I was able to make connections to legislators, lobbyists, political professionals, and work with them to positively impact change in Iowa.
During my internship, I was able to have a lot of control over areas I wanted to work in. My supervisor allowed me the flexibility to be a part of different projects. I was able to hone my communications skills – both verbal and written, government skills like being able to read and articulate legislation, and grassroots skills – making phone calls to Iowans, working at human services events, talking to crime victims.
I worked with a great group of students my age, so it was a positive work environment and my supervisors went a long way to make us feel comfortable, have fun and also get insights on things we might not have otherwise been able to learn.
Interning with Marsy’s Law for Iowa was one of the highlights of my school year and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in a meaningful internship.
Thanks for considering,
Drake University Class of 2020
Statewide polling has shown just how much Iowans support Marsy's Law for Iowa. In fact, 85 percent of Iowans support updating the state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. Even in the polarized political environment that exists today, putting victims’ rights into Iowa’s constitution enjoys huge bipartisan support.
The poll found that only 11 percent of respondents opposed Marsy’s Law for Iowa. There is also broad support of Marsy’s Law in Iowa regardless of gender.
Additional findings show that the voting behavior of Iowans will be impacted by a legislator’s position on the amendment. Significant support for Marsy’s Law proponents:
- 45 percent of Iowans say their legislators’ support FOR Marsy’s Law will affect how they vote in the election
- Among those Iowans, 84 percent would be MORE LIKELY to vote for legislators who SUPPORT Marsy’s Law
Opposition for Marsy’s Law opponents:
- 48 percent of Iowans say their legislators’ opposition to Marsy’s Law will affect how they vote in the election
- Among those voters, 87.5 percent of Iowans would be LESS LIKELY to vote for legislators who OPPOSE Marsy’s Law
It's clear Iowans believe the time has come to elevate victims' rights and give them permanent protection in our state constitution.
The Iowa Legislature meets every year where they study important issues, review existing laws and carry out the will of Iowans. Iowa has a citizen legislature, where their elected state representatives and senators are spending their winter months at the capitol during session, but the majority of their time is spent back home in their districts—living and working right alongside the constituents they represent. These folks see you around town, know you from community activities, have talked to you at the local coffee shop.
All of this means, your voice is the most effective way to create change.
Now is the time to make your voice heard.
On Wednesday, Feb. 27 we’re hosting a Marsy’s Law for Iowa Day on the Hill. This is your chance to directly advocate for Iowa crime victims. We will gather at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale at 10:30 a.m. where we will provide you a free lunch, training and transportation to the State Capitol to meet with legislators. You can join us at any time during the day and stay as long as you’re able.
If you are unable to join us on Wednesday but still want to be involved, visit our website’s Action Center to see how you can help. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated on what we’re doing in your area.
Thanks for your support,
Marsy’s Law for Iowa State Director
We have spent the past few months meeting with Iowans, hearing heart wrenching stories from crime victims, gaining new supporters and volunteers and visiting small towns and cities across the state.
We wrapped up a busy summer of county fairs at the biggest one of all — the Iowa State Fair — where we had thousands of Iowans stop by our booth to play games, learn more about Marsy’s Law, meet our staff and lend their voice to this important effort.
(It was a beautiful day at the Iowa State Fair to be in a booth under the sky gliders)
Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair and for the Marsy’s Law for Iowa team, being a part of the fun was surely one of the highlights of the summer.
More than 1,300 Iowans signed the Marsy’s Law for Iowa petition in one day at the Fair. In the conversations our team had that day and throughout the summer, Iowans were shocked that our state doesn’t already have Marsy’s Law. We were frequently asked why anyone could possibly oppose enforceable rights for victims in our constitution.
That is one question we have a tough time answering.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marsy’s Law for Iowa Statement on Session Adjournment
DES MOINES, Iowa (May 5, 2018) —Marsy’s Law for Iowa state director, Eric Baker, issued the following statement:
“While we appreciate the discussion and engagement from legislators on Marsy’s Law for Iowa, we’re disappointed this measure was not taken up on the floor for a vote this session. Crime victims in Iowa deserve equal constitutional rights and our grassroots supporters, survivor advocates and Marsy’s Law coalition will not wavier in our commitment to them.
“We stand with the 85 percent of Iowans who support Marsy’s Law and will spend the interim meeting with them, building our coalition and continuing to be a voice for victims in Iowa. We look forward to working with legislators to pass this bill next year.”
The following post was written by a Marsy's Law for Iowa supporter. Due to her circumstances and situation, she chooses to remain anonymous, but still wanted to share her story to help illustrate the dangerous gaps in Iowa's system. Iowa victims have powerful testimonies and we are humbled by their bravery and allowing us to be a small part in sharing their stories.
Marsy's Law for Iowa supporter Michelle has courageously been telling her story about what it means to be a crime victim in Iowa. You can read it here:
Ten years ago, I was living a very normal life in West Des Moines. I was raising my two kids in a quiet neighborhood, going to work every day and putting down roots in our community. My kids were excelling—my daughter was a model student—nominated for Character Counts awards. She regularly achieved academic success and had lots of friends, a personality that was just a bubbly joy to be near.
The following was written by Marsy's Law for Iowa supporter, Linda Chapman from Dubuque. Linda has been vital to our efforts in Iowa and her story illustrates why we need a constitutional amendment to protect victims and their families.
My daughter Nikki will forever be 25 years old.
Nikki was a college graduate with a degree in criminal justice. She worked as a full-time family empowerment counselor and part-time as a 911 dispatcher for Dubuque. She had aspirations of becoming a police officer. Nikki was a bright light—a dependable friend and always looking for ways to help people.