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Marsy's Law for TN observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Marsy’s Law for Tennessee is urging Tennesseans to join in and support crime victims, survivors, and victims’ families.

Supporters are encouraged to participate in the #lightyourporchpurple campaign by replacing their porch light with a purple bulb, the color of Marsy's Law for Tennessee, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

All participating households are asked to snap a photo, share it on social media, and tag #lightyourporchpurple and #marsyslawfortn.

The Victim Outreach Director with the organization explains why this law is so important to victims.

“In Tennessee, our current victims’ Bill of Rights only includes criminal court. It does not include juvenile court and general session court, which means those victims that go through those courts have no rights whatsoever. When the word domestic violence plays into that is a lot of those cases go through general sessions court, so we want to make sure that all victims are notified when their offender is released,” said Marianne Dunavant, the Victim Outreach Director with Marsy's Law for Tennessee.

Marsy’s Law for Tennessee would strengthen the rights of crime victims in the state’s constitution and would ensure that victims of crime have equal, constitutional rights on the same level as those accused and convicted of crimes.

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer.

The family had just come from a visit to Marsy’s grave and was unaware that the accused had been released on bail.

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