ICYMI: “Sexual Assault Survivor Speaks Out For Victims’ Rights In Court”


May 22, 2017

Contact: Brian Reisinger


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ICYMI: “Sexual Assault Survivor Speaks Out for Victims’ Rights in Court”

Fiona Wakefield shares her story, advocates for Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s recently introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure equal rights for crime victims

[Madison, Wis.] – In case you missed it, NBC 15 TV in Madison reported on the introduction of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan legislation in the state Legislature, airing an exclusive interview with sexual assault survivor Fiona Wakefield and highlighting why she’s an advocate for updating our state’s Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims.

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan legislation was recently introduced in the state Legislature by State Sen. Van Wanggaard and State Rep. Todd Novak with the support of 41 other Republicans and Democrats and a broad and growing statewide coalition. Fiona Wakefield is one of many survivors of crime sharing their stories in their local communities.

You can watch Fiona’s interview and read the whole story here, or read excerpts below:

Sexual assault survivor speaks out for victims’ rights in court

State lawmakers are proposing a bill that would amend the Wisconsin constitution to give more rights to victims of sexual assault through the legal court process. …

“Even if you haven’t reported it, maybe it would help us in the future, and I think Marsy’s Law would help us come forward and have justice,” sexual assault survivor Fiona Wakefield says.

Fiona was drugged at a high school party and didn’t know she had been sexually assaulted until pictures surfaced of her from that night.

“Someone finally came up and showed me these pictures of my body completely just exposed from the waist down. It was the most shocking moment in my entire life because I didn’t have any control and didn’t know how to go about the situation,” Fiona says.

Fiona says she did not report the crime to police but says having Marsy’s Law in place could encourage other survivors to come forward, if they know they will have support throughout the legal process.

“Especially in a sexual assault case we have been completely stripped of our control over what has happened to our bodies,” Fiona says.

Erin Thornley Parisi, Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center, says many of these rights are already in place but putting this amendment in the constitution would make them more substantial. …

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schmiel has been vocal in supporting Marsy’s Law. He says adding the amendment would help balance the scale between the defendant and victim’s rights in court and hopefully encourage more survivors to report their cases.

“When a crime victim knows they have these constitutional rights they’ll feel that the system does care about their well-being more and they’ll be more willing to participate in the criminal justice process,” Schimel says. …



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 [email protected].

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin can be found on our website, Twitter, and Facebook.