Last month, in honor of the 40th anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, Marsy's Law teams lit the nation purple. These purple lights served as an important reminder of the need for equal victims' rights in the criminal justice system.
We have met many survivor victims - whether it be from sexual assault, domestic violence or other major crimes- who have struggled with PTSD. June is PTSD Awareness Month and our team wanted to call attention to the issue of PTSD. Treatments work, however survivors don't always get the help they need to treat their PTSD.
If you’re following the news lately, you know that the trial of Cristhian Bahena Rivera, accused of 1st degree murder in the death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts back in 2018, began this week.
Today, Iowa has no meaningful protections for victims of crime. There are no rights to pre-conviction participation for victims, no rights to safety or protection, and no right to privacy, among others. We differ from many other states across the country in terms of victims’ rights and with this case alone, we’ve seen the inadequacy of our victims’ rights laws play out in real time.
Earlier this spring, there was a dispute among the prosecution and defense over a subpoena for the bank records of the deceased victim. The dispute centered on the fact that the prosecution was not notified of the subpoena at the time of its issuance by the defense. The defense claimed in a hearing on the prosecutor’s motion that this was a clerical error, while the prosecution argued that Iowa law prohibits records-only subpoenas to non-parties and non-witnesses “without notice to opposing counsel and oversight by the district court.”
Last week, our Law Enforcement Coordinator Leah gave you an update on her travels during National Crime Victims' Rights Week, meeting with those who protect and serve, and building our support in communities across the state.
This week, I wanted to provide you a recap of our outreach and support of victims during NCVRW. Our survivor coalition is strong and represents many different areas of the state. We knew NCVRW would be a special time to highlight the hard work and empowering voices of victim services, advocates, and survivors. As well as renew our commitment to crime victims’ rights.
For two weeks, we did just that. It was a whirlwind.
It's been awhile since I've had the opportunity to have in person meetings with law enforcement officials, and boy have I missed it.
During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we wanted to honor a few Iowans with our “Guardian of Victims’ Rights Awards.”
Thank you Sheriff Van Renterghem, for your support of crime victims and Marsy's Law for Iowa.
Thank you, Sheriff Raveling for your support of crime victims and Marsy's Law for Iowa.
Our team has been hard at work, preparing for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), April 18 – April 24. This is always an important week for Marsy’s Law – we recognize it’s a time to stop and honor crime victims with purposeful, impactful ways to let them know they are supported and seen.
Each year we look for new and different ways to honor victims during this special week, and help engage YOU, our supporters. Without your help, our recognition of all that victims have been through would go unnoticed.
We’re reaching out again, and asking for your help to show victims just how much we support them. We are hoping you might be willing to use your voice in support of victims during NCVRW.