Roger has convened working groups of experts to deal with the chronic problem of domestic violence and sexual assault, seeking advice and guidance from prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, treatment programs and victims and their advocates.
This work has resulted in major pieces of legislation, helping law enforcement respond much better at the scene of a domestic dispute, giving courts better and more timely information about perpetrators and victims, improving the enforceability of no-contact orders and protection orders, and also toughening criminal penalties:
In 2014 Roger received national attention for his successful effort to get guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Too many times, abusers were ignoring domestic violence protection orders against them and then seeking retribution with firearms by killing or grievously injuring their partners or spouses.
Roger worked with law enforcement, victims and survivors of domestic violence – and even the gun lobby – to craft HB 1840 (Chapter 111, Laws of 2014), which was one of the most significant gun safety measures in a generation.
This measure required the removal of firearms from those subject to protection orders and criminal no-contact orders in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and other cases where the assailant is deemed to continue to be a credible threat to the victim. Roger’s work in this regard has literally saved lives.
Other important measures in this area of law which Roger has led the Legislature to enact include:
- HB 1653 (Chapter 256, Laws of 2013, enacted as companion SB 5484), increasing penalties for assaults inside courthouses, where domestic violence victims are particularly vulnerable.
- HB 1383 (Chapter 84, Laws of 2013), protecting victims of stalking through the creation of a new stalking protection order, with serious criminal penalties for violating such an order.
- HB 1307 (Chapter 74, Laws of 2013), protecting victims of sexual assault from their assailants by allowing expedited service and renewal of sexual assault protection orders.
- HB 1108 (Chapter 94, Laws of 2013), a significant piece of legislation repealing the so-called “marital exception” to rape, holding rapists accountable when their victims are their spouses.
- HB 2363 (Chapter 223, Laws of 2012), a major revision of Washington’s domestic violence laws, toughening penalties and protecting the confidential locations of “safe houses” for domestic violence survivors and their children.
- HB 1626 (Chapter 307, Laws of 2011, enacted as companion SB 5579), which strengthened our state’s anti-harassment laws.
- HB 1188 (Chapter 166, Laws of 2011), raising criminal sanctions for suffocation, which is a terrifying means used by domestic abusers to attack their victims.
- HB 1182 (Chapter 165, Laws of 2011), significantly increasing penalties for intimidating and tampering with witnesses, which is a major problem in domestic violence cases.
- HB 2777 (Chapter 274, Laws of 2010), the most comprehensive revision of Washington’s domestic violence laws in more than 30 years, significantly changing the way law enforcement, prosecutors and courts handle domestic violence cases, and improving the quality of perpetrator treatment programs.