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CONCORD – Earlier today, the New Hampshire House voted against CACR 22, Marsy’s Law. The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence will continue to elevate the voices of victims of crime and fight for the Constitutional rights they deserve.
“Since the early 1990s, New Hampshire state officials and advocates have been laying the foundation for constitutional protections for crime victims in our state. After 25 years, advocates, survivors and victims worked to make this goal a reality by leading a group of bipartisan legislators, law enforcement officials, business leaders and citizens in working to pass CACR 22,” said Lyn Schollett, Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. “While we are deeply disappointed by today’s vote, we are inspired by the survivors who have bravely shared their stories and the broad coalition of supporters who stood with victims to spark a statewide conversation about much needed improvements to our criminal justice system. We are not done. We are not defeated. We look forward to continuing this vital work to change victim’s rights and experiences and we will not stop fighting for enforceable Constitutional rights.”
“It saddens me that the NH citizens won’t get the chance to vote on a Victims Rights Amendment this fall. Although our collective efforts were not successful with this vote, they were unbelievably successful at building a network of supporters and bringing victims’ voices to the forefront of the debate,” added Bob Marriott, whose daughter Lizzi was raped and murdered in 2012.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m not done fighting for the thousands of victims in our state who deserve constitutional protections. As a survivor that has lived through the system, I’m familiar with being overlooked and forgotten,” said Lissa Curtis, survivor and advocate. “I refuse to let today’s vote be further victimization—it isn’t a setback, it’s a step forward on our path to providing constitutional protections for victims of crime.”
“Advocates have been working for twenty-five years to establish constitutional rights for victims of crime in New Hampshire and I’m proud to work alongside them now to continue to work towards this goal,” said Tina Smith, survivor and advocate. “I’m a survivor that has not shared my story until recently, and being involved with Marsy’s Law has given me strength to tell my story in hopes of making sure no other child has to suffer in silence. I understand that it’s difficult to look a sexual assault survivor in the eye while they discuss their victimization, but it’s even harder for survivors to share these stories with strangers. But we won’t stop. We won’t be silenced again.”
About the Coalition:
NHCADSV is a statewide network of 13 independent member programs committed to ending sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking, through direct services to victims, community education, and public policy advocacy. The NHCADSV and its 13 member programs do not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental, or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation. For more information visit www.nhcadsv.org.
About Marsy’s Law for New Hampshire:
Marsy’s Law for New Hampshire represents two decades of advocates’ work to establish enforceable rights for victims of crime. In coordination with the NH Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, Marsy’s Law for NH is a broad coalition of Granite Staters working to ensure that victims of crime in our state are treated with dignity, fairness, and respect and are provided with enforceable constitutional rights.