Digest 101 - November 2017
November 09, 2017
VICTIMS’ RIGHTS DIGEST 101:
an anthology of global news & media affecting crime victims
Australia: Bill Adds to Domestic Violence Protections
Victims of domestic violence will be provided greater protection under proposed new laws. The Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment will prohibit people subject to domestic violence protective orders from holding explosives licenses.
GENERAL VICTIMS’ RIGHTS _____________________
The U.S. Senate has passed bills that would address the electronic sharing of intimate images of military personnel without consent, create career litigation tracks for military attorneys, mandate sexual assault training, and establish equal access to military appellate courts regarding victims’ rights. These bills will now be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission is considering a proposal that would guarantee basic protections for victims, including the right to be treated with dignity, the right to privacy, to have a voice in proceedings, to be notified of any major developments in the criminal case, and the right to restitution.
The Montana Supreme Court overturned Marsy’s Law citing that the changes to the Montana Constitution should have been considered separately. The law sought to give crime victims and their families the right to participate in judicial proceedings, to be notified of key developments in a case, and to expand their privacy rights.
New legislation expands eligibility for compensation to victims and their families for expenses resulting from crime, including medical and counseling bills, funeral and burial costs, lost wages and support, and other assistance. Newly eligible are crimes in which no physical injury occurred, hate crimes, and crimes against vulnerable elderly or disabled individuals incapable of caring for themselves.
Ohio: Voters Pass Marsy’s Law
Voters have passed Marsy’s Law which will change Ohio’s constitution to include several rights for victims and their families. If these rights are violated, individuals could protest by filing a motion in court.
South Dakota: Lawmaker Works To Repeal Marsy’s Law
A State Representative plans to propose a bill in 2018 to repeal Marsy’s Law, the constitutional amendment approved last year by voters that outlines victims’ rights. The measure would create a new law that would contain most of the provisions found in Marsy’s Law, with some adjustments, including an ‘opt in’ for notification.
Two bills have been introduced in the Wisconsin legislature that woudl give crime victims see additional privacy protections. The bills would keep the mental health records of crime victims confidential and create guidelines for when the records can be accessed in court.
Victims of Domestic Violence, Stalking & Sexual Assault _____________________________________
Two bills have been introduced in Congress that would close loopholes that allow domestic abusers to legally obtain weapons, and incentivize states to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence and abuse.
A California Congresswoman has introduced a bill that would protect victims of serious crime from deportation by expanding the number of what are known as “U” visas for victims of serious crimes issued annually from 10,000 to 40,000.
Three new laws will require California law enforcement agencies to save and report on untested rape kits, ensure sexual assault victims are informed of their rights, and allow people to make a donation when filing their personal income taxes to help law enforcement agencies test rape kits.
Victims of Human Trafficking ____________________________________________________________
Proposed legislation would make it illegal to knowingly, or with reckless disregard, assist, facilitate, or support sex trafficking, and amend the section of the Communications Decency Act that protects online platforms from liability caused by user content.
A proposed bill would raise the minimum age for which a person can be prosecuted for prostitute from 16 to 18 and provide harsher penalties for sex traffickers and state protection for juveniles rescued from the sex trade.
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This Digest includes many of the news, cases and research links that come across NCVLI’s desk. This Digest is not intended to be a comprehensive collection of crime types or news items affecting crime victims, nor does NCVLI express any opinion regarding any of the stories contained herein. The Digest is merely designed to provide readers with a glimpse of victims’ issues being talked about and reported on across the country and around the world. NCVLI is grateful to the Lewis & Clark law students who research and compile the articles included in the Digest.
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