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.”
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.