“We understand that people of all identities are, and may become, victims of violence. We recognize systems of power and privilege are deeply rooted in the legal system. We aim to continually address, and ultimately dismantle, the structures that perpetuate systemic discrimination and oppression as we attempt to balance the system and increase access to justice for all victims of violence.” ~ RMvlc Core Value

We support SB20-217. Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center (RMvlc) is committed to ending violence and protecting victims’ rights. It is particularly important that we uphold this commitment by taking a stand against systemic discrimination and oppression to increase access to justice for all victims of violence. This commitment is also reflected in our core values and in the work we do to advance victims’ rights in Colorado.

We are proud to have worked with community partners to ensure victim privacy is protected in this bill language. The most current version of SB20-217 ensures victims’ have the right to control the recording and dissemination of their own images. The addition of these privacy protections ensured this bill truly responds to the complex needs and interests of victims while it takes an important step toward increasing transparency and accountability in law enforcement and increasing access to justice for all victims of violence.

For the last 8 years, RMvlc has also worked to address barriers to improve victims’ access to the civil legal system. In partnership with the University of Denver and our Legal Information Network of Colorado program, RMvlc has participated in research and evaluation that highlights how important civil justice options are for victims of crime. The elimination of qualified immunity in SB20-217 ensures that victims of police brutality also have increased access to civil legal remedies. RMvlc supports this important provision as one that is essential to creating real access to justice for victims of crime in Colorado.

RMvlc asks that all victim service providers and those who support victims’ rights in Colorado read Colorado SB20-217 and join us in supporting this important effort to end violence and protecting victims’ rights by contacting your legislators. The ACLU of Colorado makes this easy through this link: bit.ly/3cqYTCB.

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