Join the Fight
What is Amendment 6 (Marsy’s Law)?
Survivors’ and Supporters’ Stories
I am here because I am a member of a club in which no-one wants to belong - I am the parent of a murdered child. My son, Nicholas, was murdered on October 1, 2016, or as I count the time as one year, four months and seventeen days. My worst fears as a parent is now my reality. I can imagine getting that ill-fated call because I did. Since Nick’s horrific death, I have surrounded myself with victims’ advocates and other survivors of murder. I attend monthly support group meetings at POMC - or Parents of Murdered Children. I have heard countless heart wrenching stories of grief and loss and just as many stories of extreme frustration, anger and abandonment over how our criminal justice systems treats these victims. I choose to believe that this treatment for the most part is unintentional, because I believe caring for victims should be a top priority. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, which is why we need Amendment 6 (Marsy’s Law).
Like far too many, I am a victim and survivor of a violent crime. My young daughter Peyton was sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered in 1999 as she was preparing to enter graduate school… No matter what violent crime you, your family or friends may have experienced, I encourage you to join the Marsy’s Law family and vote yes on Amendment 6. This is our chance to write history and ensure better protections for victims. Let’s lock arms and let our voices be heard. We are survivors; we live strong and honor our loved ones lost.
Stories usually have a long introduction, but I truly don’t think my story needs one. It’s simple: my name is Marvin Rivas and I was molested by one of my family members. My story may seem like just one of many, but pay attention: if this has happened to you, I want you to know it’s ok to share your story. I believe you… Having a resource like Marsy's Law would have changed my life. My abuse happened in New York and the statute of limitations protected my abuser. But if I had something like Marsy’s Law, I could have reported him. He would have been arrested, and Marsy's Law would have kept me informed about his prosecution.
I work as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate with the South Brevard Women’s Center. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse and domestic violence. My life and my daughters’ lives are living examples of what happens when a victim is not informed of the services and resources available after a crime has been committed… My experiences have led me to the work I do today, where I see countless women who are struggling, fighting and searching for their voices. These women and all victims should have the right to be in the courtroom, to speak out at sentencing hearings, to be considered when plea deals are made. Where is the justice in overlooking the abused and vulnerable? We have to consider the whole equation, not just crime and punishment. We must move forward with Amendment 6 (Marsy’s Law).