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Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Washington State needs an update to its stalking laws.

To date I can’t get any state legislator I’ve contacted to respond. I first reached out about this in October of 2021.

As I’ve told the legislative committee that should take this forward, this is a non-partisan issue and the RCW is in desperate need of a logical, compassionate update. 

In my original email (with one minor edit), I said:


You are already familiar with RCW 9A.46.110, which addresses the crime of stalking. It specifically requires that a person be placed in fear and feels fear:

(b) The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person. The feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under all the circumstances; and

(c) The stalker either:

(i) Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; or

(ii) Knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the person in fear or intimidate or harass the person.

As a woman who has faced several different stalking situations, I can attest to how life-disrupting and alarming this can be. But not everyone feels fear. In time fear can also turn to other emotions like frustration and anger.

Stalking should be illegal, period. Its legal definition in the RCW should not include “placed in fear.” That is archaic, myopic, and discriminatory even if it means well. As Jennifer Gatewood Owens said in A Gender-Biased Definition: Unintended Impacts of the Fear Requirement in Stalking Victimization, “Arguably, the fear requirement present in most states’ definitions of stalking is inherently gender-biased and should be removed, as no other type of crime is defined by an emotional response.” It’s also bizarre that the RCW places such an emphasis on the reaction of the victim instead of the offender’s behavior.

I am asking that you sponsor legislation to eliminate the condition of “fear” as other states have done. It’s time to modernize this. It needs to be more inclusive and equitable.


What are you willing to do in order to see our state laws updated? Please start by signing the Update Washington State’s Stalking Law petition. Critics say these petitions are just a feel good gesture, but when you have enough signatures, your cause starts receiving the attention it needs to create powerful change. Thank you!


©2022 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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761 B.C.

Gath-hepher, Lower Galilee.

A dry wind envelopes a tousle-haired man mumbling to himself as he digs his staff into the ground to vault a stray boulder.

“Crazy,” he says. “No way. I did not just hear that. Over my dead body.”

He races on through the night, fleeing as if he were invisible to the force pursuing him. Tucking his cloak into his belt, he keeps his head down to avoid conversation with anyone he might meet. (more…)

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Swearing

Like many bloggers, I visit other blogs to read various viewpoints of topics I’m interested in. It never ceases to amaze me just how many people who disagree with a majority viewpoint go off on others without any consideration for individuality. I frequently see, and hear, people attacking others as a group from emotion rather than reason.

If you support a certain cause, by default you are surely a cannibalistic Yeti-worshipping bigot who chews on jagged rocks and rolls around in uranium-enriched cow dung. That’s about how much sense people who go on blogs and instantly rip into others sometimes make to me. They assume that everyone who agrees on just this one thing is a mindless zombie who would commit extremist acts in the name of tofu or wool socks. (more…)

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