MADISON – In case you missed it, prominent Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin supporter and childhood abuse survivor Keaira Damon-Stine was named among Stevens Point’s 2017 People of the Year for her work advocating for victims’ rights.
You can read the feature from the Stevens Point Journal here, or find excerpts below:
Stevens Point’s 2017 People of the Year: A voice for victims of sexual assault
By Nathan Vine, Mark Treinen, Robert Mentzer, Tim Langton and Scott A. Williams
Stevens Point Journal
December 28, 2017
“Keaira Damron-Stine was the victim of sexual abuse when she was only 11 years old. Her father would be convicted of a felony and three misdemeanors after taking a plea agreement that dropped some of the most serious charges in the case.
This year Damron-Stine, 26, spoke out about her experience, sharing the ways the experience permanently altered her life, and her own attempt to heal and to protect others. Her story, published in July by USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, was read and shared by many, and included responses from other victims who said its publication made them feel less alone. And in the fall, she spoke out in favor of Marsy’s Law, a new Wisconsin law that passed with broad bipartisan support that strengthens protections for crime victims in the state.”
You can read more about Keaira’s story here and find facts on Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan legislation below:
- Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin follows a proud tradition in our state of protecting victims’ rights, unlike many other states. Wisconsin already has a constitutional amendment on victims’ rights that passed in 1993, and was the first state in the nation to pass a Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The state also is recognized as having some of the strongest statutory rights for victims in the country. This means the changes we are proposing are about making sure victims’ rights are truly equal alongside the constitutional rights of the accused – nothing more, nothing less.
- Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin strengthens rights that already exist in Wisconsin. The proposed amendment would do two things: Elevate certain rights currently under state statute to be fully constitutional rights, and strengthen other rights that are already part of the Constitution.
- Nearly 80 percent of Wisconsinites support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. A poll of Wisconsinites found that nearly 80 percent support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. More than 80 percent support a victim’s right to speak up at more points in the criminal justice process, and 68 percent said they were “more likely” to support a state legislative candidate who supported Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. The bipartisan legislation must be passed in the state Legislature twice, then by voters at the ballot box.
About Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is a grassroots coalition that has developed a unique proposal to give victims of crime equal rights in our state, building on Wisconsin’s laws and history of leading on this issue. Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. In an effort to honor his sister, Dr. Nicholas has made it his life’s mission to give victims and their families constitutional protections and equal rights.
Victims and supporters interested in sharing their stories can email Wisconsin@marsyslaw.us.