Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin Launches “Voices for Victims” Videos
UNIDOS executive director says “Marsy’s Law will allow us as advocates help survivors at a great scale”
MADISON – The group looking to strengthen the constitutional rights of crime victims in Wisconsin is rolling out a series of 30-second videos in which participants detail their support for legislation known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin.
Each day for the next two weeks, the group, also known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, will be highlighting a testimonial-style video from survivors, victim advocates, and law enforcement leaders talking about why they personally support the proposal.
This effort comes as supporters of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin are pushing to have the proposed Constitutional Amendment come before voters during the April 2 election. In order for that to happen, the bill must pass the Legislature by January 22. The measure passed the Legislature with broad bipartisan support on first consideration in 2017.
The first highlighted video comes from Veronica Figueroa Velez. Figueroa Velez is the executive director of UNIDOS, which is a Madison-based agency that works with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
“Marsy’s Law will allow us as advocates help survivors at a great scale,” Figueroa Velez explains in the video. Watch the full video:
You can 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.