We're so thankful to have so many supporters from across the state who are ready to get to work on behalf of Iowa crime victims. We hear often, "let me know when I can help."
Well today is the day.
"For the fifteenth consecutive year, the National Network to End Domestic Violence conducted our Domestic Violence Counts Survey: a one-day, unduplicated count of adults and children seeking domestic violence services in the United States."
We want you to hear directly from those who have navigated Iowas's criminal justice system. Their stories are what motivate us to keep moving forward, knowing that we do better for Iowa crime victims. The most impactful voices in our coalition are those who are survivors, courageously sharing their story and how the criminal justice system in Iowa failed them. You can follow along on our Facebook page, for specific questions we posed to survivors, and their heartfelt answers. This week, we're sharing survivor Brianne's message, and it's in her own words...
If you become a victim of crime in our neighbor states of Illinois or Wisconsin, you are at an advantage to those across the river in Iowa. Because of provisions in these neighboring states' constitutions, victims have stronger, more enforceable rights than Iowans. Why should crime victims in Dubuque have less rights than those in Prairie Du Chien? What about those in Davenport versus Moline? Iowa victims deserve the same constitutional rights as their neighbors.
We hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Independence Day this weekend. This marks the time where we can unite as a country to celebrate our freedoms and the work that went into creating the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. When reflecting on these documents, it's interesting to note how the founders created the opportunity for the constitution to be amended.
Every year an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans experience elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Working together, we can build the social supports that can prevent this abuse and keep everyone safe as we age.
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.”