Victims Supporting Marsy’s Law for Georgia
On Friday, Nov. 19th, victims from around the state of Georgia came to Atlanta to tell their stories, learn more about how they can advocate for Marsy’s Law in their communities and bond with each other over shared experiences that few can understand.
Angela Williams and Lorin Cook of VOICE Today in Cobb County are two who have transitioned from victimhood to activism. After winning several battles in the General Assembly on behalf of victims, Angela and Lorin are now backing equal rights for crime victims through Marsy’s Law.
Both women were just 3 years old when their years of sexual abuse began.
For Angela, her abuse at the hands of her stepfather lasted until she turned 17 when she attempted suicide. Until then, like most sexual abuse victims, she stayed silent, thinking she was protecting her mother and her younger sisters.
“I never had a safe day in my childhood,” said Angela. “My passion is to keep children and to allow victims a voice to stand up and speak out and reclaim their power. Our society really doesn’t understand how violating it is and how difficult it is to heal from it. We have to come alongside of victims and we have to give them rights and we have to give them a voice and we have to fight for them.”
Lorin suffered at the hands of her father and an uncle until she was 9. Through her work with survivors of sexual abuse, she’s seen firsthand why victims deserve special care in the legal system.
“The experience I have working with survivors, the trauma is so great, they have been stripped of their voice, they have been stripped of their self-respect, they have been stripped of any kind of self-worth,” Lorin said.
Angela and Lorin worked successfully to change Georgia law to lengthen the statute of limitations for reports of sexual abuse and were part of the coalition that pushed the constitutional amendment that creates a designated fund to support victims of sex trafficking. Next up: Passing Marsy’s Law to further strengthen victims’ rights.