EDITOR: It has been an extremely challenging year for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, and for their allies and advocates. As the pandemic challenged many people’s way of life and strained many of our support systems to the breaking point, too many victims of domestic abuse found themselves in greater danger. Fortunately, victims and advocates have also had some additional tools and new support, thanks to the passage of the crime victims’ constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin one year ago.
As a legal advocate at New Day Advocacy Center, I work directly with victims to help them navigate the difficult legal process, and I’ve seen this process in action before and after the implementation of Marsy’s Law. The legal system can be extremely challenging for victims who are thrown into it amid an already trying time and through no fault of their own. That’s why New Day works hard to provide criminal justice support — wherein advocates can help victims understand their rights and options — as well as legal advocacy, accompaniment, and help navigating the restitution process. Marsy’s Law has provided additional tools to us as advocates as we help victims navigate this process.