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.
I just happened to be going through the Washington State Legislative agendas and noticed there were amendments being made to the Vulnerable Adult Protection Order RCW 74.34. There are companion bills – SB 5338 and HB 1422 which both had public hearings at the same scheduled time January 30, 2019.
I had to get there by 7:45 in the morning to be sure that I would be able to address the committees and add a new amendment to this bill – that of including anti-stalking and anti-harassment language to the protections granted to vulnerable adults. This was my opportunity to get this information shared to several legislators and hopefully other advocates so that this omission of legal protections is corrected.
Senator Darneille (Chair) and the other Senators presents (Senator O-Ban, Senator Walsh, Senator Nguyen. Senator C. Wilson and Senator Cleveland) heard my testimony and by the response I received it is hopeful that some action will take place. I will be sure to follow up with them and also keep trying to spread the word to other advocates and legislators.
Unfortunately, due to changes in the agendas of the two simultaneous committee meetings, I was unable to get to the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee to give a public comment. I will be emailing all Representatives in that committee with this information.
My testimony starts at 1:03:24 if you would like to listen – there is much more to the story but this is a snapshot to get the ball rolling.