In preparation for National Crime Victims Rights Week (NCVRW), April 8 – 14, we spent a few days filming in Tulsa to capture victims’ stories for a video that will launch next week in observance and appreciation for our supporters statewide. We were thrilled to connect with some incredible advocates in our ongoing effort to elevate rights for crime victims in our state.
The time we spent with these individuals was enlightening and demonstrates the need for real reform. Everyday unknowing, unsuspecting Oklahomans find themselves thrust into a system that for too long has protected perpetrators to a degree that leaves crime victims unsettled.
We heard stories from crime victims like Sheri Farmer from Tulsa and Lauren Layman from Oklahoma City, who both lost loved ones to violent crimes. Valeska Barr from Owasso told her experience as a victim of domestic abuse. Lezley Bell from Weatherford told of the shock sheexperienced after learning of the sexual assault her special-needs daughter endured by a trusted supervisor with her local work program. District Attorney Kevin Buchanan of Washington County explained how he supports Marsy’s Law as a means to provide residents within his jurisdiction a voice throughout the criminal justice process. Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado explained how Marsy’s Law would enable him to better support the very people he committed to serve and protect.
Established in 1981, National Crime Victims Rights Week has served as a meeting ground for victims, and an important reflection of what they’ve endured. Marsy’s Law and State Question 794 seeks to give crime victims equal constitutional standing during criminal investigations, in court, and during the pardon and parole process.
We are pleased these stories give a voice to the cause, and an important week honoring victims of crime. By sharing their experiences, these individuals are paving the way for a better future. We stand in solidarity with crime victims and supporters statewide during NCVRW and we hope you’ll join us in that support. Stay tuned for a calendar of NCVRW events happening across Oklahoma.