Senate unanimously approves Mosbrucker’s bill to protect domestic violence victims; next stop is the governor’s office

The Washington State Senate gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a bill by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker that would ensure the Department of Corrections (DOC) supervises repeat domestic violence offenders and protects survivors from being stalked and abused.

House Bill 2048 would close a loophole in state law that has allowed felony domestic violent repeat offenders upon release from prison to go after their victims because they have had no supervision.

“The most dangerous times in a domestic violence survivor’s life are when they try to leave their abuser and when that offender has been released from custody. That is when these survivors need the most protection,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale. “A system that allows abusers to pursue their victims upon release is a broken system that must be fixed. That’s the concept behind this legislation.”

The bill would remove the words “pleaded and proven” as a requirement before the supervision of domestic violent offenders could be enacted.

“There is an expectation from lawyers, judges, and victims in domestic violence cases there will be supervision by the Department of Corrections, based on the understanding of the law, written agreements, and court orders. Unfortunately, the reality of what happens is often very different,” noted Mosbrucker. “If there is no supervision, there is no one to stop the violent felon from pursuing the victim. This bill would close that loophole, help ensure supervision for the felon, and safety and healing of the survivor.”

The measure would also require an audit of DOC supervisory obligations concerning specified domestic violence offenses. The audit and report would cover between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2024, and identify the number of individuals under court-ordered supervision, the number of individuals for whom supervision was ordered but has not occurred, and the reason why DOC did not undertake supervision. A report would be due to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2024.

The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously. It now goes to the governor for his signature. 

# # #