SPOKANE, Wash. — Lawmakers and advocates say Washington is not doing enough when it comes to protecting domestic violence and funding life-saving services.
In a press conference Tuesday, they urged for more state legislation to help stop the violence.
There are a variety of bills to combat domestic violence in the Legislature this session.
"It's time for the state to make a continued sustainable commitment to lift survivors by substantially investing in our commitment to victims and victim services are crossed our state," Colleen McIngalls of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said.
Advocates say the current system is extremely underfunded, and decades of budget cuts have left vulnerable crime victims, families and children at greater risk.
The Washington Domestic Violence Coalition says those services could even reach a crisis point this summer.
DV programs are now being told to anticipate 20-33 percent in funding cuts by July 1.
"Every day, 365 days a year, domestic violence survivors and their children seek life saving support from the safety net of domestic violence," Emily Stone, public policy director for the Washington Domestic Violence Coalition, said.
A bill introduced by lawmaker Lauren Davis aims to hold cause harm responsible, instead of putting the onus on women to go to shelters to get away from their abusers. A portion of the bill includes electronic monitoring where the victim would be notified of the abuser's location.
"In healthcare settings the term "never event" is used to describe situations that are so preventable they should never occur," Davis said. "Domestic violence homicide should be a never event. And yet, dozens of women are killed in this state, every year, by men they once loved. This is unacceptable."
Another bill wants to extend the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People Task Force.
"When you look at the historical trauma of native American, and Native American Women and People across this great nation, you would think they would have taken care of us first and the best. Unfortunately, that's not what history has shown us," Rep. Debra Lenkanoff said. "Native American women are one of the largest population of women who have gone missing a murdered, going back all the way to 164 years ago when a Yakima nation woman was reported to the military as missing and murdered."
SB 5231 deals with emergency domestic violence no contact orders.
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Vanessa Perez joined the 4 News Now team as a Multimedia Journalist and producer in August 2021. Previously, she worked for an NBC affiliate in Kalispell, Montana where she covered winter storms, education, local government and the pandemic. Vanessa grew up in Chino, California. She earned a degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University. She enjoys being out in the community and learning about people’s stories each day. When she’s not working, you can catch her listening to podcasts, cooking, trying new food/coffee spots, and hanging out with her cat, Milo.