Jacksonville residents speak out about potential bills that could impact crime victims

Today, victims of gun violence and advocates came together in opposition of two controversial state bills that if passed could impact future victims of crime and security in apartment complexes.


The bills, that if passed, would change the landscape of how victims and their families could receive compensation after a crime is committed. They would also alter how security is handled on businesses, and apartment complex properties.

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“In doing so, that continues to leave victims holding the bag for the financial needs that they have,” Iva Rody, Chief Officer of the National Center for Victims of Crimes, said.

These two bills that they are referring to are House Bill 837 and Senate Bill 236.

Rody says her group typically doesn’t get involved in legislation unless leaders there are really worried about the impact on community safety or crime victim’s rights.

“One of our biggest concerns is victims have the right to be made whole. if this bill passes victims will no longer have that opportunity to do so through the civil justice system,” Rody said.

Read: DOJ giving states $231M for gun violence prevention programs

Another House Bill, HB 1165 provides owners or operators of multifamily complexes with protections against liability in certain situations.

The people we spoke with today disagree with that bill too, because they insist certain areas need more security than others.

“This bill is bad for crime victims. It’s going to increase crime and it’s going to leave them without resources,” Mary Scriber said.

Scriber lost her 26-year-old son to gun violence in 2013 on a property. She believes that passing these bills will cause more crime.

“It’s not having sufficient security for patrons coming into your building, we should feel secure but we don’t,” Scriber said.

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Scriber adds victims get re-victimized over and over again and if the bill is passed this will continue to happen.

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