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Key Issues

Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania

While the accused and convicted have numerous rights codified in the Pennsylvania Constitution, crime victims only have statutory protections. This creates an imbalance of justice, because victims have no recourse if their rights are violated. Read more about Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania. 

Please consider contacting your legislator and asking them to vote Yes to Marsy’s Law with no amendments. Use these talking points to help frame your discussion.

Justice Reinvestment

Senate Bill 502 will expand the Crime Victims Act to serve more victims, more effectively, and provide discretion to the compensation program to consider claims that would otherwise be time-barred. This bill also seeks to change the compensation provisions in the current Act due to the denials of vital funding to victims and their families. This link provides more information. (pdf)

Statute of Limitations Reform

Read about the current statute of limitations on both child and adult sexual offenses (pdf) in Pennsylvania and the proposed legislation that seeks to fix these issues. The Office of Victim Advocate fully supports proposals aimed at the abolishment of all civil and criminal statute of limitations provisions. Read OVA's written testimony submission to the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 2, 2019.

A key area that victims/survivors, as well as advocates, hoped to improve during childhood sexual assault statute of limitations reform opportunities, was adding a window for victims/survivors whose statute had lapsed. There was lots of debate around this topic in 2018; read about some of those arguments here. (pdf)

Parole Eligibility Survey

Due to the overwhelming outrage from surviving family members in response to legislation calling for parole eligibility of inmates serving life sentences for First Degree Murder, OVA made the swift decision not to support parole eligibility for these convictions.

In order to best represent the community of victims of Second Degree Murder, a survey was mailed to registered survivors in January 2019. A separate data analysis team provided the analytics back to our office. This is the summary. (pdf)

OVA Public Service Announcement