Sen. Manka Dhingra, legislators from both chambers and both parties, and guests from the community will hold an in-person press conference on Valentine’s Day, to discuss legislation and funding aimed at reducing domestic violence and supporting survivors in Washington.
In the wake of a surge in domestic violence during the pandemic, the need for services has been escalating in recent years: sexual assault programs and children’s advocacy centers across our state have both seen double-digit increases in demand. At the same time, federal funding for domestic violence services in Washington is set to see drastic cuts of a quarter or more this summer.
“We have to ensure that survivors’ voices are heard,” said Dhingra, chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee. “The state must be focused on addressing lethality factors so that survivors don’t become victims of homicide.”
Legislators and advocates will discuss solutions:
WHEN: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14
WHERE: Senate Rules Room, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, 220A Legislative Building, Olympia, WA 98504
- Sen. Nikki Torres – 15th Legislative District
- Sen. Jesse Salomon – 32th Legislative District
- Rep. Sharlett Mena – 29th Legislative District
- Rep. Lauren Davis – 32nd Legislative District
- Rep. My-Linh Thai – 41st Legislative District
- Rep. Debra Lekanoff – 40th Legislative District
- Rep. Amy Walen – 48th Legislative District
- Colleen McIngalls, Director of Victim Services at King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
- Emily Stone – Public Policy Director at Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Legislation under consideration this session includes:
- HB 1715: Enacting comprehensive protections for victims of domestic violence and other violence involving family members or intimate partners.
- HB 1562: Reducing the risks of lethality and other harm associated with gun violence, gender-based violence, and other types of violence.
- SB 5231: Concerning the issuance of emergency domestic violence no contact orders.
- SB 5635: Concerning victims’ rights.
- HB 1177 (SB 5137): Creating a missing and murdered indigenous women and people cold case investigations unit.
- SB 5477: Implementing the recommendations of the Washington state missing and murdered indigenous women and people task force.
- SB 5070: Concerning victims of nonfatal strangulation.
- SB 5081: Concerning victim notification.
- HB 1028: Supporting crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system.
- HB 1533: Exempting the disclosure of certain information of agency employees or their dependents who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, or stalking.
Additional attendees include:
- Other elected officials
- Representatives of government organizations, including the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid.
- Members of advocacy and survivor groups, including Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Tacoma Pro Bono’s Family Safety Project.
Speakers will discuss legislation and funding related to preventing domestic violence and supporting survivors, then take questions from the media.
Please RSVP to Kenneth.Fockele@leg.wa.gov and indicate if you plan to ask a question.
The press conference will also be available to stream live and watch as an archive on TVW at this link.