Oftentimes, victims of crime in Iowa are hesitant to speak out and share their story because of the way our criminal justice system is currently set up.

Since crime victims’ rights in Iowa are currently outlined in state law rather than the state constitution, victims feel they have no guaranteed ability to participate in the process regarding their own case. And they’re right.

This is why Iowa needs Marsy’s Law.

Marsy’s Law would elevate victims’ rights to our state constitution, making them equal to offenders’ rights. This would empower victim participation at every turn — pre-trial, trial and sentencing. Changing the criminal justice in this way would allow victims to feel more comfortable because they know their rights will be considered and enforced just as vigorously as the defendant.

As legislators, including Rep. Shannon Lundgren, continue their dedicated work to changing laws for victims in Iowa, I hope they’ll consider Marsy’s Law next session.