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Silhouettes of victims raise awareness for Marsy’s Law at the Oneida County Courthouse

The Silhouette display at the Oneida County Courthouse to raise awareness of victim's rights.
Katie Thoresen
/
WXPR
The Silhouette display at the Oneida County Courthouse to raise awareness of victim's rights.

Red, wooden, life-sized silhouettes of people now stand along the main stairs in the Oneida County Courthouse.

Each has a sheet attached to the front with words like “Right to be heard”, “Right to restitution”, and “Right to privacy” written across them with QR codes with links to state and local resources.

“The imagery of silhouettes is there to remind us that oftentimes victims are amongst us and we don't necessarily know who they are,” said Nela Kalpic. She’s the state director for Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin.

Marsy’s Law is a constitutional amendment that passed in 2020 with more than 75% voter approval and has since withstood legal challenges. It ensures victims of crimes have the right to privacy and gives them the opportunity to be more involved in the justice process.

“Since Marcy's Law passed, one of the things that we hear most often is increased participation by victims. We're hearing that victims are now asking more questions, and they're being more proactive as they navigate the criminal justice system which is always good news,” said Kalpic.

The Silhouette display at the Oneida County Courthouse to raise awareness of victim's rights.
Katie Thoresen
/
WXPR
The Silhouette display at the Oneida County Courthouse to raise awareness of victim's rights.

Oneida County District Attorney Jillian Pfeifer says Marsy’s Law helps prosecutors be more mindful of victim’s rights as they work through court cases.

The DA’s office works with victim witness coordinators who ensure people have proper notifications and are treated with respect.

“There's been definitely more expansive rights that have been afforded. I think it has made a difference, especially in terms of how our office handles victim rights,” said Pfeifer.

You can learn more about services for crime victims on the Wisconsin Department of Justice website.

The silhouettes event was brought to Oneida County in collaboration with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office and Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

“Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Inc. works every day to stand up for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. We hope this silhouette display will serve as an empowering and educational reminder of what is available to victims in not only Oneida county,” Angie Fanning, Executive Director of Tri-County Council said in a statement.

The silhouettes will be on display at the Oneida County Courthouse now through July 3rd.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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