Victim’s rights

Dear Editor,

The holiday season is just around the corner, and this year I’m especially thankful that amidst all the noise of politics, Wisconsin lawmakers were able to come together to advance legislation that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of Wisconsin crime victims.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin with overwhelming bipartisan support. This proposal to update the state constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims now goes to Wisconsin’s voters for final approval on the upcoming April 2020 statewide ballot.

As a survivor of violent crime, I know how important it is for victims to have their rights protected throughout the difficult legal process. In 2004, I became a victim when I was kidnapped, beaten with a baseball bat, suffocated, dumped in a trash can, and left to die in a frozen storage shed. Despite narrowly surviving this brutal attack, too often I felt like I was the one on trial during the harrowing legal process that followed. I saw very clearly the need to level the playing field between victims of crime and the accused.

This holiday season there is something new to be thankful for: Wisconsin residents will soon have the opportunity to vote in favor of Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. This vote is the last step towards finally making equal rights for victims like me a reality after years of work towards this goal.

I look forward to supporting equal rights for crime victims on the ballot this April, and I hope you’ll join me in voting YES on the proposed crime victims’ constitutional amendment. This holiday season, there’s something we can all agree on: it’s time to update Wisconsin’s constitution to finally give crime victims like me equal rights.

Teri Jendusa-Nicolai

Waterford

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