A rebuttal to Marsy’s Law from a Victim Advocate

Crisis Intervention Services

Crisis Intervention Services

Marsy’s Law would establish constitutional rights for Iowa crime victims without having concrete action steps in place to meet the comprehensive needs of those Iowa victims. Before taking the step to amend the Iowa Constitution, we should make sure to adequately support existing services.

Marsy’s Law originates from a state that doesn’t understand how hard Iowans have worked for victim rights. Last year victim service agencies across Iowa provided services to 64,547 victims of crime. Iowa already has the Iowa VINE system in place for notification on the incarceration status of defendants and IowaPON is a system that provides information to victims regarding their protective orders.

The existing victim services agencies already perform many of the functions that are proposed under Marsy’s Law. The best thing for all Iowans at this time is to oppose Marsy’s Law and to urge Iowa lawmakers to fully fund all current victim services agencies that support victims of violent crimes, including sexual assault and domestic violence.

Although Marsy’s Law looks great on paper and promises to ensure the rights of victims, the unintentional consequences that come along with it remain unseen. The cumulative effect on victims is already severe given the 25% cut to victim services agencies last year and the closing of 30 courthouses this year due to budget cuts to the justice system. This proposal, while well intentioned, in actuality does little to assist victims. If lawmakers want to take steps that actually support victims, they should fund victim services agencies, Legal Aid attorneys, the court system, and law enforcement.

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Posted by on Feb 11 2018. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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