Tina Smith

I was sexually abused by my father from the time I was 6 years old until I was 16. The first memory I have was the night before my first day of school when my father climbed on top of me in the back seat of our car. Even after a decade of abuse, I never came forward. Only in recent years with a great deal of support from family, friends, my community, and victims’ advocates, have I found my voice. I don’t want another child to suffer in silence; that’s why I support Marsy’s Law for New Hampshire.

I’m incredibly grateful for the work the New Hampshire Legislature has done to strengthen statutory protections for victims and survivors of crime. It means the world to me to know that our elected officials care so deeply about victims, like myself. I hope they will support CACR 22 to take the next step toward guaranteeing victims a meaningful voice in the criminal justice process.

Unfortunately, many victims in NH are currently forced into silence because they don’t feel heard or supported by our current criminal justice system.

Right now, sexual predators are guaranteed constitutional rights while the children they victimize are not. By supporting CACR 22, we can change that.

I’ve heard some try to turn this conversation about victims’ rights into an academic debate. As a survivor, I’d like to remind everyone that real-life victims are currently being ignored, silenced, left out, and re-victimized.

Victims of crime are silenced all too often and predators do everything in their power to make them feel invisible and worthless – like my father did to me –  Marsy’s Law for NH will help limit that power and control from extending into our criminal justice system, where we all deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.

Passing CACR 22 sends a clear message to victims of crime that New Hampshire sees us, hears us, and believes that we deserve equal rights to those who victimized us – no more, no less.