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Iowans don’t need Marsy’s law — we need real solutions and social change

For more than a decade, I have worked every day to help create a world without rape. Until I achieve that end, I tirelessly support the survivors who have had their lives turned upside down by sexual violence.

We need real solutions and social change that address the epidemic of sexual violence and sexual harassment — not feel-good legislation.

On Jan. 31, elected officials from the Iowa House and Senate held subcommittee hearings to discuss legislation referred to as “Marsy’s Law.” This is a campaign driven by a California billionaire whose family experienced a tremendous and tragic loss when his sister (whom the bill is named after) was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 1983. At that time, there were very few protections for victims of violent crime and their family members, which led to the campaign’s inception.

Marsy’s Law states that it will give victims a series of rights and protections, but provides no way to exercise those rights. While well-intentioned, the language is unenforceable and creates false hope for survivors and their families.

...We understand that legislators want to help victims — and so do we. But we firmly believe the best way to do this is to work toward continued funding for the programs already in place to provide crucial support and resources to victims when they most need it. Marsy’s Law is the wrong answer, and we urge legislators to reject it.

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