Kelvie Malia, 35 years old, is originally from Hawaii but currently resides in Nevada. She is a single mother of 3 beautiful gifts from God. Kelvie Malia is also a notary public for the State of Nevada and a real estate loan signer. She is a volunteer enthusiast and Global Goodwill Ambassador.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
How did you become a victim of crime?
I was assaulted by my husband in a public place witnessed by over a dozen people. Robbed by him. Left without a dollar to my name and forced to enter a domestic shelter for women. I had to leave my kids behind until I could pick up the pieces of my life that were in disarray.
Can you describe what it was like for you as a crime victim in the Nevada court system?
I was my ONLY advocate. I had to constantly call law enforcement and the courts to find out ANY information about my case. I had no right to be informed directly of any of the legal proceedings nor a say in any of them. I had to learn my rights. I had to get the facts of my case myself. I had to be assertive and make every attempt I could to voice my opinion, whether it was acknowledged or not.
What did you find to be the most frustrating aspect?
The defense attorney kept pushing back our court dates a day or two prior to our court appearance always claiming “conflict of interest” when they knew months ahead of time at the court appearance date prior. This made it a constant battle for law enforcement to continuously find my witnesses and successfully re-subpoena them. The defense attorney was never given a limit to how many times they could do this. And I had no say, whatsoever, in regards to these setbacks. I also had to live through constant belittling and intimidation by his family and friends while in criminal proceedings. Because they were there for moral support, I had no choice but to endure it. Legally, they were entitled to be there just like any moral support for me would be.
How do you believe Marsy’s Law for Nevada is most helping crime victims in the state?
One of the most significant rights for crime victims is the right to have their voices heard during critical criminal justice proceedings that affect their interest. The passing of SJR-17 (Marsy's Law for Nevada) allows for more transparency. It’s designed to empower victims of crime and ensure that they have the same rights as those who are accused or convicted of crimes. It will allow victims the right to participate and have crucial updates provided to them in regards to those criminal proceedings. It will allow victims to feel less victimization.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other crime victims?
Your past is just a small part of your journey. It is only a small part of who you are and what you have been through. It never defines you. The best thing you can do is keep moving forward. Keep on with the keep on. Reach out to friends and family for support. Be your biggest advocate- no matter what support is present. So that you may rise from this, as the victor that you are.