Speaking up does work – just keep doing it and eventually something may turn around.
Last week I testified before the Senate Human Services, Reentry, and Rehabilitation Committee regarding the need to include anti-stalking language in the legal protections for vulnerable adults. SB 5338 was the bill developed at the request of the Department of Social and Health Services which provided the changed below to RCW 74.34
The testimony I presented was the first the Committee and others had heard about the lack of legal protections against stalking predators. I am very happy to see that this committee understands this critical omission and took steps to include the change in the substitute bill which was passed out of the committee and forwarded to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
Washington State RCW 74.34 – The Vulnerable Adult Protection Order does not protect our vulnerable adult population from stalking or harassing predators.
We need to change this and amend RCW 74.34 to included stalking/harassment in the definitions of abuse.
This past year a woman became obsessed with our son, Thomas. Thomas is a young adult living in Supported Living in our community. She believed she and a famous musician were Thomas’ biological parents and they planned on taking legal action to “regain” custody of Thomas and move him into their home. There were several attempts to abduct Thomas from his home.
An emergency temporary protection order was easily obtained (which she immediately violated several times) but when it came time to have the VAPO signed in court, the Judge could not sign it since stalking and harassment are not written into RCW 74.34
We need a legislative sponsor for this amendment – there is a draft bill already written