For years WCSAP has been concerned with the matter of pro se representation in sexual assault cases. Without special considerations, survivors are put in the position of being questioned by their alleged perpetrator, who may take the opportunity to harass and intimidate the survivor. We believe reasonable considerations must be in place so that victims can participate meaningfully in the justice process.
We brought forward legislation in 2010 and 2011 to address this matter. The legislation did not pass and was instead taken under review by the Supreme Court through the court rules process. We have continued to share our concerns on behalf of sexual assault victims with those overseeing the court rules process.
In conjunction with victim services allies, we drafted alternative language to the rules and submitted the revisions to the Court earlier this year and again this month. We are seeing to further clarify the use of a third-party questioner. The matter is before the court rules committee once more. The deadline for comments is steadily approaching--comments are due April 30th.
Linked here you will find our letter to the Court with the proposed language.
I encourage you to write an email of concern as well. The more voices we have the better! Please take a moment to express your concern and encourage consideration of the language proposed by the victim service community.
To send an email to the courts regarding the rule address it to:Camilla.Faulk@courts.wa.gov,
To view the proposed rule and other submitted comments click here.