Governor Otter Proclaims April 8-14 as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Honors Victims, Advocates and Supporters


April 9, 2018

Media Contact: Todd Dvorak, Strategies 360

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Governor Otter Proclaims April 8-14 as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Honors Victims, Advocates and Supporters


BOISE – Idaho Gov. “Butch” Otter officially kicked off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on Monday by honoring crime victims and bringing attention to the challenges facing victims of all ages across the state.

Victims, victim advocates like Marsy’s Law for Idaho, and leaders across the state are taking part in events this week to raise awareness and make the case that victims deserve equal constitutional rights in our justice system. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2018 runs from April 8-14.

“Victims who believe they have a voice, empathy and support are more likely to disclose their victimization, seek services, overcome the sense of isolation and distrust and participate in the justice system,” said Otter in reading the proclamation during a ceremony in his office.

“The State of Idaho is dedicated to supporting and strengthening victims and survivors in the aftermath of crime, building resilience in our communities and our victim responders, and working for justice for all victims and survivors,” he said. 

Later Monday, the Idaho State Capitol will be lit up in purple light to honor victims. Mayors in cities big and small – from Kuna to Idaho Falls – will be issuing proclamations designed to raise awareness and acknowledging the work done by victim advocates, law enforcement, and others on behalf of victims.

“We must stop turning our heads on victims,” said state Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, a Democrat from Boise and supporter of Marsy’s Law for Idaho. “Victims represent every single demographic in our society, and the numbers are staggering. We have a responsibility to provide victims of every crime the ability to move forward with their lives.”

Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donohue cited a recent domestic abuse-related homicide in Nampa as another challenge to society to find ways to end the cycle of abuse and better understand the victim experience. Every year, Idahoans are victimized in some way by more than 17,000 crimes committed across the state, and millions more Americans are victimized by crime across the country. 

“This can happen to anyone … it could be your sister, mom or dad,” Donahue said. “Until that happens to you, it’s easy for people to ride that fence. You can’t ride that fence.” 

Marsy’s Law for Idaho is a proposed constitutional amendment that would provide victims with more protection, a stronger voice and constitutional rights equal to those afforded the accused. 

The initiative earned the endorsement from law enforcement, including the Idaho Sheriff’s Association, the Idaho Fraternal Order of Police and the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association. It was supported by the Professional Firefighters of Idaho, the Idaho Victim Witness Association and victim organizations throughout the state, including FACES of Hope and the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance.

In the 2018 Idaho Legislature, Marsy’s Law for Idaho, known as House Joint Resolution 8, fell five votes short of the two-thirds majority required to pass out of the House of Representatives and to the Senate, where it had unanimous support the previous year.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been celebrated every April since 1981 when President Ronald Reagan signed the first proclamation honoring crime victims.