Latest News & Announcements

WCSAP Legislative Session 2022 in Review

The following were supported by WCSAP in the 2022 Legislative Session. We engaged in lobbying, provided written/spoken testimony, and/or sign-on support. We worked collaboratively with many stakeholders and partners in our legislative work. To see more about how we decide what bills to support, check out WCSAP Guiding Policy Values.

State Budget Proviso

Our legislative priority was to ensure continuity of crime victim services impacted by reductions in federal victims of crime act funding and help address increased demand for crime victim services attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Exceeding our request of $7.5M, this has been funded at $6.8M for FY 2022 and $15.7M for FY 2023.

HB 1916 (Orwall)

This was an important comprehensive sexual assault bill that did not pass. However, there are aspects of this bill found in the budget:

Free Maddesyn George

Maddesyn George is a young Native mother, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and a survivor of sexual and domestic violence. She has been incarcerated since July 2020 for defending herself against her attacker. Instead of receiving support after suffering a traumatic experience, Maddesyn was incarcerated and denied bail, and separated from her infant daughter and community. She is being prosecuted by the U.S. federal government. Maddesyn has accepted a plea deal and is currently awaiting her sentencing hearing, which has been rescheduled for November 17. She faces up to seventeen years in prison.

Maddesyn’s story is emblematic of the ways U.S. criminal legal systems all too often neglect or exacerbate harm against Indigenous victims and survivors of violence. The targeting of Native women for violence is a fundamental aspect of settler colonialism both historically and today. Visit the full campaign website here.

WCSAP commits to not enforcing NDAs against former employees

On September 29, 2021 WCSAP's board of directors voted to publicly commit to not enforce Non Disclosure Agreements (NDSs) in place against former employees who speak out about their experiences of racism or other discrimination during their employment at the organization. This decision was based on our board's commitment to furthering transparency and accountability, related to harms experienced by former WCSAP employees. The NDAs have the effect of silencing people from sharing about their experiences of harm, which is in direct opposition to our movement's role in supporting survivors in telling their stories.

 

*note: Previously, this post had a typo and said that the vote was on September 30, 2021. The WCSAP Board of Directors actually completed their vote on September 29, 2021. The post has been updated to reflect this error.

Racism and Racial Equity at WCSAP A Letter from the Director

Over the past several weeks, I have received feedback from a number of WCSAP members and partners that people want to know more about what WCSAP is doing to address institutional racism and oppression at our organization. This communication is my initial attempt to meet that request, and to share more about the internal racial equity work that WCSAP is doing.

WCSAP Legislative Session in Review Policy Update, June 2021

Supporting survivors of sexual assault (ESHB 1109)
Passed, effective 4/26/2021

This bill requires the Office of the Attorney General, in consultation with the WA Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), to collect status updates on previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits collected prior to July 24, 2015; requires the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) to conduct an annual case review program to review sexual assault investigations and prosecutions for the purposes of improving training and case outcomes; and expands the statutory rights of sexual assault survivors.

Congress Must Not Forget Survivors Priorities for the upcoming COVID-19 supplemental appropriations package

The COVID-19 crisis has led to an increase in domestic violence and compounded trauma for survivors of sexual assault. Both COVID-19 itself and the crisis caused by the pandemic disproportionately impact survivors in communities of color. While both the need for and the expense of providing sexual assault and domestic violence services are increasing, many programs have seen a decrease in donations due to the economic downturn and other COVID-19 related factors. Despite the desperate need for victim services, none of the previous COVID-19 packages signed into law have included funding for sexual violence services, for culturally specific organizations, or for tribes.

Seeking Executive Director

Dear WCSAP members,

As part of our commitment to ensuring strong leadership at the board and executive level, we seeking a visionary leader to serve as WCSAP’s next executive director.

The person who steps into this role will have the opportunity to lead the agency toward a refined vision and defined strategic direction to fulfill WCSAP’s important mission. We’re seeking in candidates who:

  • Are able to build and maintain relationships
  • Can think strategically and collaborate with others to define strategic objectives  
  • Lead in a way that’s inclusive
  • Foster employees in their development, and leverage their talents
  • Embody and promote social justice, anti-oppression, and gender and race equity

We look forward to finding the ideal person to serve in this role and hope you will share the job description with people who have the qualifications to lead the organization.

Board Letter to Membership Updates

To say 2020 has been a year of turbulence would be a significant understatement. As we pivoted and transformed to try to minimize the effects of a global pandemic, we witnessed again and again the deep harm and pain systemic racism has inflicted on the Black community. 

This year has been a turbulent one for WCSAP as well. In the face of board and staff turnover, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations. We understand that our rocky path had a serious and negative impact on our members. Through our stumbles and falls, we recognize that we have eroded trust in our organization. It will take time to rebuild that trust, and we will do everything in our power to make that happen. 

These difficult events launched us into a process of reexamining who we are as an agency. As we rebuild and strengthen our organization, the Board and staff make these three commitments to you:

In Support of Black Lives A Statement from WCSAP Board of Directors

As one of the leaders in the movement to end sexual violence in Washington and across the nation, WCSAP understands the deep intersection between forms of oppression. These forms of oppression create a system that puts people of color at an increased risk for violence, discrimination, and inequity. We support efforts to create an atmosphere of nonviolence through social change. We recognize that disrespect, ignorance and the abuse of disparities in power are the roots of violence. We denounce racism and are committed actively to anti-racist work within our organization and the communities we serve. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the countless acts of racist violence perpetrated against black people in our country. We stand in solidarity with people of color, and movements and organizations who do so as well, including Black Lives Matter.