Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/10/2002 05:26 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HB 317-STALKING & PROTECTIVE ORDERS                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRY CRAWFORD,  sponsor of  HB 317,  said HB  317                                                              
would fill  a gap in  Alaska law to  protect people  from stalkers                                                              
that they don't know.  He said existing  laws only protect victims                                                              
from  stalkers  they  had  previously  been  involved  with  under                                                              
domestic violence statutes.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN   TAYLOR  asked   if  there   were   any  questions   for                                                              
Representative  Crawford.   There were  none.   He asked Ms.  Mary                                                              
Wells to provide testimony.                                                                                                     
MS. MARY WELLS  said an individual or minor who  was stalked could                                                              
only call the  police and file a  report under existing  law.  She                                                              
said the victim could seek assistance  through the courts if there                                                              
was a threat  of physical violence  but the court could  only have                                                              
them escorted to a shelter such as AWAKE in Anchorage.                                                                          
She  said she  was lucky  that her  stalker had  been arrested  on                                                              
other charges and incarcerated for  four years.  He had since been                                                              
released.  In order to get a protective  order for her family, she                                                              
said she would have  to have been involved with him  or related to                                                              
him.  She said  she got no relief from the legal  system and Judge                                                              
Murphy told her the law needed to be changed.                                                                                   
She said  stalking was  not about  sex; it was  about power.   She                                                              
said the  stalker might  focus on  something unusual  in a  person                                                              
such as  the color  of their  hair or  their eyes.   She said  her                                                              
stalker just wanted  to hear her voice.  She said  it took her two                                                              
months to figure  out who her stalker was.  She  said some victims                                                              
never learn  the identity  of their  stalker.   Some victims  went                                                              
into hiding.  She said it was difficult  to go grocery shopping or                                                              
take their children to school.  She  said her children were unable                                                              
to participate  in physical education activities  outdoors because                                                              
they risked being exposed to the stalker.                                                                                       
She  said she  was representing  herself and  many other  stalking                                                              
victims that couldn't get any relief.   She said HB 317 was needed                                                              
to protect victims of stalkers.                                                                                                 
5:35 p.m.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR  COWDERY  moved  CSHB  317(FIN)   out  of  committee  with                                                              
attached zero fiscal notes and individual recommendations.                                                                      
There being  no objection,  CSHB 317(FIN)  moved out of  committee                                                              
with attached zero fiscal notes and individual recommendations.                                                                 

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