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Push to Change Iowa Constitution for Victims’ Rights Moves Two Steps Forward

Supporters who want to add victims' rights to those guaranteed under Iowa's constitution saw their efforts move forward through two early hurdles Tuesday at the Iowa Statehouse.

A house judicial subcommittee pushed ahead the proposed constitutional amendment in the morning. And then later in the afternoon, a house judicial committee voted in favor of sending to concept to the full house for debate.

...Some victims' rights organizations say that while this movement may sound good, it could actually have detrimental effects. "None of these things are free," said Kerry True-Funk, associate director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, "With last year's legislative session, there was a significant cut to victims' services."

CASA is one of 24 victims' rights groups that have come out in opposition to the constitutional change. True-Funk believes the language would be too vague and not provide the direction the legal system needs to truly guarantee victims' rights and that there could be additional strain on the resources that advocacy groups provide.

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