The first bill passed in 2018 by the Kentucky Senate helps crime victims

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(WBKO) -- On Wednesday afternoon, the Kentucky Senate floor passed "Marsy's Law", a law that gives crime victims commonsense laws in the Constitution of Kentucky.

Marsy's Law started from a parents' worst nightmare; their daughter getting stalked and murdered in the 80's. Shortly after her death, Marsy's mom ran into the accused attacker at a grocery store. She had no idea that he was out of jail.

Bowling Green Police Departments Victim's Advocate talks about the struggle crime victims go through, even beyond the actual incident.

"We are talking about not just the day of the crime, but we are talking about days, weeks, months, and even years that their crime is being investigated," April Fulcher said.

She stresses the importance of "Marsy's Law".

"If their offenders are released from custody, they live in fear daily that they can run into them some day."

The law says that any crime victim has a voice in judicial hearings, and the right to be made aware of any hearings or status change of the accused offender.

As of today, these victims rights have passed through The Kentucky Senate.

"The Commonwealth of Kentucky is going to protect its victims," Kentucky Senator Whitney Westerfield told 13 News. He is the main sponsor of the proposed bill.

He continued to say that this bill is long awaited. The bill passed the Senate floor two years ago, but it didn't pass the House.

Since then, he has worked tirelessly to make this right for Kentucky.

"I've had countless meetings, emails, phone calls from all over the board," Senator Westerfield says.

More than anything, lawmakers and advocates want to make sure victims know they have rights and support.

"Not only are (they) advocated, our prosecutors, law enforcement, but our legislators are listening," Fulcher said.

And, victims feel empowered by being able to face their offenders and help decide their fate.

"It would give her her dignity back," Senator Westerfield explained. "It would empower her."

The bill has been sent through the Senate floor and will continue to the House next. If it passes, you can find on the November elections ballot.

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