Sister of Brittani Marcell aims to help trauma victims | KOB 4

Sister of Brittani Marcell aims to help trauma victims

Joy Wang
December 13, 2018 06:40 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Brittani Marcell's life changed forever 10 years ago on the day she was beaten with a shovel in her Albuquerque home and almost died.


Earlier this year Justin Hansen pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Before a judge made that decision, Brittani and her family read powerful, emotional impact statements.

Those victim impact statements can really affect a judge's decision.

Now Brittani's sister, Alicia Marcell, hopes to share her experience to help other victims share their truth and put their pain on paper.

“The judge is aware of all the facts. But she doesn't know the emotional toll it's taken or the long-lasting toll,” said Alicia Marcell. “They don't know that we barricaded our doors. They don't know that we're still scared.”

But Alicia Marcell believes because they shared that fear, her sister's attacker got the maximum sentence, 18 years.

“The thing that really struck me is what if we weren't well spoken? What if we weren't well dressed? What if we weren't composed? What if we didn't have 10 years? What if this happened a month ago?” asked Alicia.

Not all victims of violent crimes have the resources that the Marcel family has. So Alicia decided to do something about that.

“I was awake in the middle of the night a lot,” said Alicia. “I was like I need to help people write their victim impact statements.”

Alicia’s trauma spans further than her sister's violent attack. She was victim to domestic violence herself.

“I was in a very, very violent relationship. I'm 10 years out, and I still have surgeries from this,” explained Alicia. “I still feel pain from it, and that is one of the scariest places to be.”

She never wrote a victim impact statement for her case.

“I didn't report my attacker, and that is a piece of fear and regret,” Alicia said. “I always feel is that it took me years to heal and find my voice and get it back.”

Alicia hopes to help others find their voice and express it through support, through healing, and through sharing their truth in court.

“You're not defined by your trauma. You're not defined by some of the terrible things that happened to you. You get to create this and you get to decide what your story is and what your future is and what your narrative is,” said Alicia.

Alicia said she's in a happy marriage. She has that support system and she feels stronger than she's ever been.

If you'd like to help with this project, you can contact Alicia Marcell at


Joy Wang

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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