Public Policy

For more than 30 years, WCSAP has been advocating for all survivors of sexual assault, their families and communities on the state and national level. Our staff and members testify before state legislative committees, contact legislators and track bills that affect survivors and communities.

Additionally, the coalition attends meetings of state and national agencies to make the voices of survivors heard in discussions about victim services, sex offenders, the criminal justice system, technology, prevention work and many other issues.

Our membership plays a vital role in guiding our public policy work. We welcome your input, ideas and involvement. Information in this section is updated regularly throughout the year, and weekly during Washington’s legislative session.

WCSAP Policy Guiding Values

WCSAP Supports Racial Justice and Liberation

The history of the United States is rooted in racism, colonization, violence, and oppression. We believe sexual violence cannot end without the eradication of systemic racism and oppression. This means we use a racial justice, anti-oppression lens when considering issues related to criminal legal system responses. WCSAP is a cosigner of the national sexual and domestic violence coalitions’ Moment of Truth Statement and are guided by those stated principals.

WCSAP Supports Tribal Sovereignty

Rape has been, and continues to be, a tool of colonization and oppression of Indigenous Peoples. We support issues which increase tribal sovereignty. We support solutions to violence impacting Native communities as guided by those impacted communities and the eradication of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous crisis.

WCSAP Supports Safety for Immigrant Communities

We support a safer state for immigrants and refugees and encourage our communities to continue to build upon protections and to center immigrant communities in creating solutions for access and safety.

WCSAP Supports Transgender, Non-Binary, 2-Spirit, and LGBQ Youth

Transgender, non-binary, 2-Spirit and LGBQ young people in the United States face disproportionate levels of sexual violence, victimization, harassment, and disenfranchisement. Gender identity of young people must be affirmed in activities, restrooms, schools, education, and society to achieve inclusion and mitigate bullying, sexual violence, and risk of suicide.

WCSAP Supports Primary Prevention

With limited resources for prevention, we prioritize primary prevention efforts which aim to change root causes of violence and shift culture, rather than build awareness or reduce risk. These prevention strategies seek to address systemic roots such as oppression and racism, promote skill building of healthy norms, designed to bolster protective factors, and are community-centered. Comprehensive sexual health education is one vital part of preventing sexual violence, in all its forms. We support efforts to openly and directly address issues of human sexuality as it is a critical aspect of promoting social-emotional learning for young people. This includes, the promotion of healthy relationships based on mutual respect, and free from coercion and intimidation; skills for how to identify and respond to attitudes and behaviors that contribute to sexual violence; and emphasizing the importance of sex positivity and affirmative consent, all of which must be inclusive of the full spectrum of abilities, genders, and sexual orientations.

WCSAP Supports Survivor Choice

Sexual assault advocacy and systems’ responses should be trauma-informed and survivor-centered. Survivors need options and access to choices that they feel are best for healing, health care, and justice as they define it. We support strengthening victims rights, reproductive choice, and bodily autonomy.

WCSAP Supports Trauma-Informed Services for Sexual Assault Survivors

Statewide Services and systems must take into account the varied and complex impact trauma has on individuals and communities. We understand that trauma is expansive and includes individual experiences of acute and/or complex trauma, vicarious trauma, historical trauma, and intergenerational trauma. We must name that being born into racism is both overt and covert trauma. Trauma-informed services are guided by these principles: safety, trustworthiness & transparency, peer support, collaboration & mutual empowerment, choice, and cultural, historical, & gender issues. It’s also prudent to acknowledge that those who work in these services and systems can be survivors and so we must work towards trauma-informed workplaces as well. Washington sexual assault and other victim services agencies are without sufficient funding which is integral to the well-being of staff, availability of immediate crisis services, and well-resourced programs to serve survivors across a spectrum of needs.