Reps. Griffey, Caldier demand action on bills to help sexual assault survivors

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CONTACT: Kylee Zabel, Public Information Officer, for Rep. Dan Griffey | 360-786-7031
Nick Jacob, Public Information Officer, for Rep. Michelle Caldier | 360-786-5097

Reps. Griffey, Caldier demand action on bills to help sexual assault survivors

Two Republican lawmakers are speaking out and demanding action after their bills to help sexual assault survivors failed to pass the Legislature.

For the past four years, Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, has attempted to pass a bill to eliminate the statute of limitations for felony sex offenses. Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard, sponsored legislation this year to ensure rape victims get timely notice of the availability of rape kit exams at hospitals.

Both died in the Senate.

Caldier says a constituent emailed her early Saturday morning and said, “I am beyond upset and hurt that this bill has not been passed, but I’m also not surprised. No one seems to take rape seriously anyway.”

Caldier and Griffey released the following statement Saturday:

“The Legislature let sexual assault survivors down this year. There’s no way around it.

“Lawmakers had two reasonable proposals in front of them that would have immensely improved the treatment and care of these brave individuals, but dozens of other issues were prioritized.

“Survivors are wondering why, and so are we.

“Every year, we pat ourselves on the back for passing hundreds of bills that in no way rise to the level of consequence as legislation to help vulnerable women. Meanwhile, we have a backlog of roughly 10,000 untested sexual assault kits, survivors who struggle to find the courage to report their assault before some seemingly arbitrary deadline, and women (and men) who have to sit for hours in a hospital waiting room only to find out they’ll have to wait at yet another hospital to get a rape test exam.

“Shoving this legislation aside this year is an affront to all survivors, dozens of whom traveled to the Capitol to tell their stories and courageously advocate for change.

“In Olympia, we talk a big game about standing up for the most vulnerable among us. Yet when it comes to something as important as helping sexual assault victims, we always seem to fall short.

“That’s unacceptable. The majority party needs to act on these bills this year. We shouldn’t force survivors to wait any longer.”

The deadline for when bills, excluding budgets and bills that affect the budgets, had to pass out of the opposite chamber in which they originated was March 2.

The 2018 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 8.


Washington State House Republican Communications