The week of April 23-29 is National Crime Victims’ Week. Victims of crime across the state have rights that they should know about in order to regain control of their lives after surviving a crime.
The citizens of California made their voices clear when they recognized the importance of protecting victims’ rights in the State Constitution with the passage of Prop 8 in 1982, the Victim’s Bill of Rights, and then reaffirmed that message in 2008 with the passage of Prop 9 – known as Marsy’s Law.
My bill, SB 86, expands on Marsy's Law to require an easily accessible website for survivors to learn about their constitutional rights and connect with an attorney to guide them through criminal proceedings.
I am happy to report that SB 86 was passed through the Senate with bipartisan support and now awaits action in the Assembly.
We need to ensure we are doing all we can to help crime survivors find justice by enforcing victims’ rights, listening to and making victims’ needs and wishes a priority, and providing victims with access to the resources and services to help them heal.
It is also imperative that our state’s criminal justice system fights to protect, coordinate, and improve the quality of services provided to victims and witnesses.
By supporting these rights, we can restore power to survivors who often feel powerless in the aftermath of a serious crime.