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Proposed changes to Marsy's Law would protect victims more, give them a chance to be heard

Proposed changes to Mary's Law aims to make sure vicitms know their rights.

Marsy's Law is set up to help victims by ensuring they know when their offender has hearings, but the law doesn't work the same in every county or even every city in this state.

There's a new bill that will make sure all victims know they have rights and makes sure they can be heard in court hearings.

When Sophia Fifner was 17, she was at a party when she says she was raped.

“I woke up to an individual on top of me,” Fifner explained. “That experience changed the trajectory of my life. From that moment on, I started to have panic attacks, I started to not trust other individuals."

At that time, Ohio did not have Marsy's Law in effect. It's a law in several states that was passed after a victim ran into her attacker in a store, and did not know he was out of prison.

The law is vague in many areas, and that has different counties and cities right here in the Buckeye state helping victims in different ways.

There's a proposal that make sure victims are notified of all hearings-and that communication comes in a safe way for them.

“We're acknowledging and accepting that not every victim is going to want to receive mail, it may not be safe for every victim to receive mail. A victim may want a text or want an email. A victim may want a Facebook message,” Legal Director for the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center Elizabeth Well said.

The bill would also require officers to give victims a "Marsy's card" so they know their rights. It would protect their personal information from becoming public and gives them the right to petition a higher court.

“The real overarching ultimate goal is to provide uniformity throughout the state to make sure that every victim can exercise every right every time,” Well said.

Fifner says that statute of limitations has expired for her case, but she is hoping this amendment will help other crime victims get justice and closure.

“As a society, we put a lot of focus on the individuals who commit a crime and they completely forget about the experiences of victims,” Fifner said.