Contact: Brian Reisinger
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[Madison, Wis.] – Today, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin joins with local victims’ advocates to hold the annual “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” event, raising awareness and money to fight domestic violence and sexual assault. This year, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin joined the cause as the premier sponsor of the event, part of its broader organizing efforts in Green Bay and across Wisconsin as it fights to update our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is the international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence. In its fifth consecutive year in Green Bay, the event raises funds and awareness by asking participants to put themselves “in the shoes” of victims by walking one mile in high heels. Proceeds from the event benefit Golden House and the Sexual Assault Center of Family Services.

“Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin is proud to partner with local victims’ advocates through the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event in our shared effort to stand up for survivors and fight to keep them safe,” said Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, a survivor of a brutal attack by her ex-husband and one of the state’s most prominent victims’ rights advocates. “I would encourage everyone in Green Bay and across the state to join Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin in supporting this great event, which benefits Golden House and Sexual Assault Center of Family Services, two outstanding local organizations that work tirelessly to provide help and healing for survivors in their community.”

You can find more information on today’s event here. Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin, introduced as Assembly Joint Resolution 47/Senate Joint Resolution 53, is authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville). With a broad and growing bipartisan statewide coalition supporting it, the legislation has passed key committees in both the State Senate and State Assembly, and is now awaiting votes by both full chambers of the Legislature.

You can read Teri’s story of survival here, and find facts on Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin’s bipartisan legislation below:

· Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin follows a proud tradition in our state of protecting victims’ rights, unlike many other states. Wisconsin already has a constitutional amendment on victims’ rights that passed in 1993, and was the first state in the nation to pass a Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The state also is recognized as having some of the strongest statutory rights for victims in the country. This means the changes we are proposing are about making sure victims’ rights are truly equal alongside the constitutional rights of the accused – nothing more, nothing less.

· Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin strengthens rights that already exist in Wisconsin. The proposed amendment would do two things: Elevate certain rights currently under state statute to be fully constitutional rights, and strengthen other rights that are already part of the Constitution. An example of a right that is the law under state statute but needs to be elevated to the Constitution is the right to put victim restitution payments ahead of any dollars owed to the government. An example of a current constitutional right that needs clarification is the right to be heard throughout the legal process, including release, plea, sentencing, disposition, parole, revocation, expungement, or pardon – as opposed to just disposition.

· Nearly 80 percent of Wisconsinites support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. A poll of Wisconsinites found that nearly 80 percent support updating our state Constitution to ensure equal rights for crime victims. More than 80 percent support a victim’s right to speak up at more points in the criminal justice process, and 68 percent said they were “more likely” to support a state legislative candidate who supported Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin. The bipartisan legislation must be passed in the state Legislature twice, then by voters at the ballot box.

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