Ballerina & Sexual Assault Survivor Advocates for Marsy's Law for NH - Lissa's Story
My name is Lissa Curtis and I am a sexual assault survivor. I know all too well how difficult it is for survivors to find the courage and the strength to come forward and report what happened to them. As a survivor, I understand what it’s like to have no power, no control, and feel completely alone. It breaks my heart to know that survivors are made to feel this way all over again due to the inequities in our criminal justice system.
I’m still in awe of the amazing survivors that testified last week in support of Marsy's Law for NH and I had hoped the committee would hear us and stand with us. I’m disappointed in their recommendation against the bill an I will continue to fight for the constitutional rights that survivors need and deserve.
When entering into the criminal justice process, the man who violated me, the man whose actions shattered my world, the man who raped me, is guaranteed more rights than I am – how can this be?
Right now, victims and survivors of crime are not guaranteed the right to be notified of all proceedings, they are not guaranteed the right to be heard, they are subject to frequent delays and unjustified continuances, they are harassed and bullied by defense attorneys, and are not adequately protected from the accused and convicted. This is unacceptable.
Victims of crime deserve enforceable rights—just like those who victimize them.
I’m not surprised to hear that some career defense attorneys are opposed to this legislation – CACR 22 would prohibit them from being able to use intimidation tactics to encourage victims to drop their cases. This amendment would put an end to the loophole that they use to go around the prosecution and to go directly to victims prior to the trial – a practice that is only allowed in 4 other states, and is expressly prohibited in federal law.
Victims of crime are silenced all too often and their perpetrators do all they can to make them feel small and invisible. CACR 22 will help limit that power and control from extending into our criminal justice system, where everyone is supposed to be treated with fairness and equality.