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Gov. Inslee signs domestic violence supervision bill into law

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(The Center Square) – A bill sponsored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, that closes a domestic violence loophole in Washington state law was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday.

House Bill 2048 ensures the Department of Corrections supervises repeat domestic violence offenders and protects survivors from being stalked and abused.

“The most dangerous times in a domestic violence survivor’s life are when they try to leave their abuser and when that offender has been released from custody,” Mosbrucker said. “That is when these survivors need the most protection,” .

During a January public hearing on the bill, Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, shared emotional testimony about his daughter’s own struggle to leave an abusive marriage.

“I am living this now,” he said. “I just rescued my daughter from southern California, with $60,000 in debt, and it looks like those checks will have to continue to be written.”

Addressing a panel of domestic violence experts brought in to testify on the bill, Griffey said, “If we’re going to talk about domestic violence, the DV survivor dang near dies of exhaustion before seeing any justice, and the continuous vexations and harassing petitions to the court and then the almost disgusting way that the judges act – so non-feeling.”

He went on to ask, “Do you have something to say about that and are there court procedures that we might be able to consider to actually respect those people that are surviving this?”

Griffey said when it comes to support for the victims, California is doing much more than Washington.

“The civil legal aid there – I mean we were assigned somebody at the beginning and they helped us through the entire process,” he said. “Is there a way to see if Washington can reform our process so that we can more support those surviving domestic violence?”

He concluded, “We talk a lot about the perpetrator having to pay for treatment. The problem is in order to get justice, the survivor has to beg, borrow and steal to even come close to getting justice.”

David Martin with the domestic violence unit at the King County Prosecutors Office, told lawmakers, “We do partner with civil legal aid to make sure that marginalized victims can have access to those services.”

He shared Griffey’s frustration with the process, adding HB 2048 would improve the process.

“We now resort to emailing to find out who’s going to be supervised, and that’s very difficult for everyone involved to find out who’s going to be supervised,” Martin said. “Removing the ‘plead and proven language’ from supervision will greatly reduce confusion.”

The bill removes the words “pleaded and proven” as a requirement for the supervision of domestic violent offenders.

Mosbrucker said her bill is a clarification that ensures victims are notified when someone with a felony domestic violence charge is released from prison.

“The survivor on the other end knows they are getting out and has the opportunity for a period of time to make sure they’re not to again be the target when they get out,” she explained.

The bill removes the phrase “pleaded and proven” as a requirement before the supervision of domestic violent offenders can be enacted.

HB 2048 unanimously passed both chambers of the Legislature.

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