OLYMPIA – Washington issues court orders that require perpetrators in domestic violence and harassment cases to stay away from their victims. However it does not issue orders that require stalkers to stay away from their victims. That changed on Tuesday with the passage of the Jennifer Paulson Stalking Protection Order Act.

House Bill 1383 creates a court order which will apply to both physical and online cases of stalking in which the suspect makes repeated attempts to contact, monitor, track or follow the victim in a manner that causes the person to feel threatened or frightened.

Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, proposed an amendment to name the bill after Jennifer Paulson, a Tacoma elementary schoolteacher who was shot and killed by a stalker as she arrived at work in February of 2010.

“Her tragic death sparked what has been almost a three-year journey here to get this bill before us,” said Conway, who sponsored the Senate companion bill. “I believe today we are taking a step toward protecting women from stalkers and from the occurrence at Birney Elementary School.”

The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and now goes to the governor for his signature.

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For more information: Ian Cope, Senate Democratic Caucus, 360-786-7535

For interviews: Sen. Steve Conway, 360-786-7656