Marsy’s Law for NC Recognizes Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2018
Across the nation, the second week of April 2018 was designated Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Citizens, friends and family members who have suffered from crime – often violent and always against their will – were recognized throughout the week with the color purple.
The week is a place in time where communities, students, governments and law enforcement were asked to reflect upon what victims of crime endured from the actual crime and its aftermath – touching their friends and families in personal and permanent ways.
In North Carolina, the campaign to strengthen victims’ rights in the state constitution, Marsy’s Law for NC, participated in a number of ways ranging from urging elected officials statewide to support for victims’ rights legislation in the state constitution to participating in important events like the NC Victims’ Assistance Network ceremony. The NCVAN event served as a gathering for advocates to hear first-hand from a woman who lost her sister to homicide on a college campus. Through her tears, she shared the daily devastation that is a constant reminder of the crime. She shared how her own children are forever changed; fearful as they grow older and start their own lives as they relive the horror of their loved one’s murder every day. She highlighted that homicide does not just impact the victim, but the family and the community left behind.
The annual week is an opportunity to reflect on the very human and personal aftermath of crime. For the Marsy’s Law campaign, it’s also a time to remind elected officials and voters about the important legislation that will strengthen victims’ rights statewide giving victims of crime guaranteed rights in the constitution just as the accused and convicted are already afforded.
The state’s General Assembly has the opportunity to consider the legislation in the upcoming May session – that would then send it to voters to decide. Important rights like notification of custody of the accused and allowing victims – if they choose – to be part of parole or sentencing hearings.
North Carolina’s victims of crime deserve this guarantee in the state constitution – giving them the dignity and respect they deserve during Crime Victims Rights Week and throughout the year.