Rep. Graham to host ‘crime victims’ call to action’ on Wednesday, March 15 at state capitol building

‘I want to honor crime victims and their families by telling their stories and remembering them for the vital, vibrant lives they were leading before crashing headlong into situations that changed or ended their lives,’ says Graham

Rep. Jenny Graham, R-Spokane, is hosting a “Crime Victims’ Call to Action,” Wednesday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m. at the north steps of the Capitol Building in Olympia. Members of the media, concerned citizens, and victims’ advocates are invited and will be in attendance.

Graham, who serves on both the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee and the House Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry Committee, is calling on her legislative colleagues to consider policies that put victims and their families in front of criminals.

“The pendulum is swinging further and further away from victims and their families,” said Graham. “Policies being proposed by the majority party in Olympia continue to put our families and communities in danger. The public needs to know that the majority party decides which bills come to the floor for a vote. They are the ones passing these bills that endanger them. The responsibility for these laws passing lies solely at the feet of the majority party. They own it; they are responsible.”

Graham has spent several months collecting stories from communities and families around the state. She has received permission to tell these stories in a public display of poster boards, pictures, and graphics.

“I want to honor crime victims and their families by telling their stories and remembering them for the vital, vibrant lives they were leading before crashing headlong into situations that changed or ended their lives,” said Graham, whose sister was murdered by the Green River Killer. “We are going to show recent crime statistics and trends, but it can’t stop there. These aren’t just numbers, they are people. They are brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons whose lives have been irreparably altered.”

Graham, along with her House Republican Caucus colleagues, is sponsoring House Resolution 4626 which honors crime victims in Washington state. The resolution reads, in part:

“WHERAS, Survivors of crimes, regardless of the offense committed against them, often carry physical scars, injuries, disabilities, and emotional trauma as a result of surviving these attacks; and

“WHERAS, The impact of all crime often affects more than just the direct victims, devastating thousands of these victims’ families and friends across Washington as well; and

“WHERAS, Law-abiding citizens are deserving of justice, rights, resources, restoration, and rehabilitation; and

“WHERAS, The Washington state house of representatives recognize the importance of honoring victims regardless of the manner, size, or type of crime committed against them because of the adversity they face and the resilience they exemplify;”

“Too often, crime survivors and loved ones bear the physical, emotional, and psychological trauma in silence,” said Graham, who is a survivor of abuse. “Our ‘Crime Victims’ Call to Action’ is a chance for them to have a voice. For them to join with others, both victims and supporters, and say that they matter – their stories matter! And they see the direction this state is going and together with one voice can say, ‘no more!'”

Graham also announced her crime victims’ ombudsman proposal.

House Bill 1845 will create an office of the crime victims’ ombudsman within the state Department of Commerce.

“There are plenty of state entities lobbying on behalf of criminals. They want reduced sentences, more pay, more rights, and more protections for those who commit crimes against the innocent,” said Graham. “But there is no official state mechanism for supporting crime victims with resources, counseling, and advice. We need to have a conversation on why this is and what we can do to change that. Every criminal leaves in their wake crime victims.”

Graham has also sponsored House Bill 1844 which seeks to hold elected officials accountable if they violate the constitution and their actions cause harm to citizens.

Graham will be joined at Wednesday’s Crime Victims’ Call to Action by Rep. Jim Walsh, Rep. Michelle Caldier, and other legislators.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov