Mothers On a Mission to Stop Violence (MOMSV) was founded in April of 2008 by Denise Rotheimer, whose daughter, Jasmine was the victim of a violent crime at age 11. MOMSV is a grass-roots organization dedicated to strengthening and enforcing laws that protect victims and survivors of violent crime and works to create a fair, just, and equitable court system.
Arising from the treatment she received throughout the criminal justice system, Denise learned that crime victims in Illinois have to function as their own advocates... their rights are rarely explained and there is no mechanism to enforce these rights.
Since, 2003 Denise proposed legislation to amend the Rights of Victims and Witnesses of Violent Crimes Act based on her criteria; eliminate the provision that denies crime victims the right to appellate relief and a cause of action for damages when their rights are violated , and mandate the State's Attorney's Office to obtain a signature by the crime victim as evidence that he or she received a copy of their rights. In 2003 and 2005 both House Bills died in rules committee.
In 2008, Denise went on to propose SB1020, known as, Jasmine's Law (named after her daughter), which became effective under Illinois law PA 96-1390 on 1/1/2011. Jasmine's Law added alcohol as a "factor in aggravation" under all five sex felony offenses, giving judges the discretion to double the sentence of convicted sex offenders who committed an act of sexual violence against a minor under 18 at the time the victim was under the influence of alcohol and the offender knew or should have known the victim was under the influence of alcohol during the commission of the sexual offense.
Protecting Our Communities
Following the passage of Jasmine's Law, Denise proposed HB1237, known as the Survivor Rights Act, which passed the House unanimously in April 2011 but died under the leadership of Senator Michael Noland in committee during veto session. House Sponsor Representative Rita Mayfield, refiled HB1237 as HB5187 on February 8, 2012. HB5187 proposes to implement the sign-off sheet and provide training for law enforcement officers to furnish victims with a copy and an explanation of their rights at the time they file a complaint.