Law proposes amendment to help victims of violence

Law proposes amendment to help victims of violence

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Fifteen candles flickered for hours inside the ballroom of the Chestnut Street YMCA on Sunday.

The 15 candles shed light on 15 years of violence.

The ballroom was full of tears and words of hope. Each person in the audience of the "Voices of the Survivors" event was a survivor of a shooting or homicide.

They all participated in a new study. The Pegasus Institute, a local think-tank, analyzed the many struggles survivors face in the aftermath of crimes.

"Once you all start reading through this, it is going to touch you," community activist Christopher 2X said.

Former Louisville Metro Police Department officers offered their input as well.

"From the point of view of a police officer, we care about you," a retired officer said at the podium.

There hasn't been a study conducted like the Pegasus Institute report in Metro Louisville before.

The Pegasus Institute released their findings on Dec. 11 with a list of recommendations, which they hope will be adopted by state and local leaders.

"To see in the Pegasus Institute's report, that recommendation came forward from such a reputable source," Marsy's Law for Kentucky volunteer Ashlea Christiansen said. "It really solidified our belief that this is so sincerely needed in our state."

Marsy's Law is seeking a constitutional amendment to incorporate the crime victim's bill of rights into Kentucky's constitution. It would guarantee the same level of legal protection those who are accused and convicted of crimes get.

The coalition needs support to get it passed. It appeared everyone in the room Sunday was on board.

"Sounds like it, and I'm very thankful for that," Christiansen said.

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