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Posts Tagged ‘crime victim’

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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HMHTH

Last Sunday, as Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast, a hurricane of a different sort was swept up into her Father’s arms after a courageous battle with cancer.

Susan Murphy Milano, a tireless advocate for crime victims, was taken home. When someone who accepts God’s grace passes into that mysterious, timeless realm of joy, there is both rejoicing and sorrow. I grieve because of the pain she went through and because our world has lost a warrior. I feel sadness for her friends and family and all the people whose lives she touched. (more…)

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Could you forgive and love the man who murdered your mom?

This is the question posed to visitors upon arrival at http://livetoforgivemovie.com/, the official site of the new Live to Forgive movie.

Dean Smith was 12 when his mother was murdered by his stepfather in Enumclaw, Washington. Haunted by this sudden and violent loss, Dean’s life became a self-medicated pit of despair until he realized that he would only be free when he forgave the man who took his mother from him. (more…)

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News

Crime victim advocacy titan Susan Murphy Milano just posted her thoughts on the Casey Anthony trial on the Time’s Up blog, http://timesupblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/in-court-of-public-opinion-verdict-is.html.

Her post got me on my soapbox because I’m so sick of seeing coverage that forever cements the names of suspects in our minds while forgetting who the victims are. I would like to see several homicide cases I know of featured in the media so that the cases can be closed or the perpetrators are brought to justice, but the chances of getting those on TV is slim given the prolonged coverage of the mere handful of cases featured already. (more…)

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