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Thursday, May 12, 2016
EDITORIAL: Crystal Judson's Light Burns Bright For Abuse Victims
The News Tribune
May 12, 2016
[Excerpts] Thirteen years ago last month marked one of the most dreadful chapters in Tacoma history: the fatal shooting of Crystal Judson Brame at the hand of her police chief husband, David Brame, who then killed himself in the same Gig Harbor strip mall parking lot. The News Tribune spent months investigating and publishing stories about a Tacoma bureaucracy that looked the other way while its top public safety officer abused his estranged spouse. Community leaders pushed for reforms inside the city and police department. For several years after the April 26, 2003 murder-suicide, the newspaper kept the candle burning by printing an anniversary story and a running checklist of reforms -- some completed, others unfulfilled. Today, while the headlines have faded, the important work of preserving Crystal's memory by extending help and hope to other domestic violence victims has not stopped. It is carried on by her parents, Lane and Patty Judson, and by her children, Haley and David, Jr., now young adults. The mission is also entrusted to the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center, which recently observed its 10th anniversary... The Judson center stands out among the great fulfilled promises on the community's checklist, along with improved Tacoma police screening and hiring practices, an early-warning system to catch problem cops, and a federal law that funnels grant money to police agencies that enact meaningful domestic-violence policies... Abuse victims can find emergency housing aid, transportation assistance, help filing police reports and protection-order paperwork and much more... The center reported 2,639 client visits in 2015... Alas, there's more than enough suffering to fill the lobbies of other agencies, too. Pierce County Community Connections and the local YWCA both told News Tribune columnist Matt Driscoll this month that they're seeing more victims, and more intense cases... [Full article here]
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