Lane and Patty Judson remained true to a promise they made their
daughter on her deathbed to help protect other women from domestic
violence. She was murdered in April 2003 by her husband, chief of
Tacoma’s police department.
On Thursday, the Judson’s were recognized for the integral role they
played in creating the first federal grant program specifically to
address cases of domestic violence committed by law enforcement
Over the weekend, the Senate and House passed the Crystal Judson Brame
Domestic Violence Protocol Program as part of legislation to extend the
1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Authored by U.S. Rep. Jay
Inslee and supported by other members of the Washington state
congressional delegation, the measure makes funds available to law
enforcement agencies under the so-call STOP, or Special Training
Officers and Prosecutors, grant program to implement agency policies on
domestic violence, sexual assault and other serious crimes committed by
their employees and provide trained advocates for such victims. It is
expected to be signed into law before the end of this year.
“It’s a feat to move legislation through the lawmaking process,” said
Inslee when he presented the Judson’s with an official copy of the
measure named after their daughter at a meeting in downtown Tacoma on
Thursday. “The Judsons have done the impossible by affecting change at
the federal and state level,” he continued, referring to a law enacted
in March 2004, which requires Washington state police agencies to adopt
specific policies for dealing with domestic violence committed by
"Federal legislation such as this can only be viewed as a positive
approach to encourage and motivate law enforcement agencies nationwide
to address domestic violence,” Lane Judson commented. “In the state of
Washington, law enforcement agencies already have this type of policy
implemented under State Bill 6161. I hope that every state nationwide
utilizes this opportunity to become the best of the best.”
In addition to Inslee, Grace Huang, public policy coordinator at the
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Colleen
Wilson, chief of police at the Sumner Police Department and
representative of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police
Chiefs discussed the importance of the new federal grant program. U.S.
Rep. Norm Dicks, who helped secure federal funds along with U.S. Sen.
Patty Murray for the newly opened Crystal Judson Family Center in
Tacoma, also spoke at the event.
Judsons honored for efforts to fight domestic violence
Legislation, Justice Center are result of a promise parents made to their daughter
Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor Washington
December 28, 2005
When Crystal Judson Brame was shot almost three years ago in a Gig
Harbor parking lot, her parents made a promise to her on her deathbed
that they would do everything in their power to prevent another woman
from ending up like her.
Now that the U.S. Congress has passed the Crystal Judson Brame Domestic
Violence Protocol Program, part of legislation that extends the 1994
Violence Against Women Act, the Judsons are beginning to understand
just how much power there was in that promise.
“It’s hard to believe it’s really happened,” Patti Judson said. She
said she and her husband, Lane, watched C-SPAN as Congress passed the
legislation that bears their daughter’s name.
Now the Judsons have been honored for their tireless efforts to make
women who are being abused by law enforcement officials safer. U.S.
Reps. Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks were on hand last Thursday to present a
special Congressional certificate of recognition to the Judsons.
The protocol program Inslee, Dicks and other Washington state
legislators inserted into the VAWA will make federal grants available
to law enforcement agencies for training to deal with domestic violence
and sexual harassment committed by their own employees. The monies will
also fund positions for advocates for victims of domestic violence.
Those positions will bear Crystal Judson Brame’s name in their titles.
“Lane and Patti’s efforts are what made the difference,” Inslee said.
“Their incredible diligence, their perseverance and dedication to their
daughter was supremely effective.”
The Judsons began their campaign with phone calls to their local and
federal legislators. When Sen. Patty Murray returned their phone call
two days after Crystal’s funeral, Lane Judson said, “That inspired me
to keep going.”
The Judsons became aware that in order to enact the kinds of changes
they envisioned, they needed grassroots action, and they began a
“Not only people from the Puget Sound area signed those letters,” Lane
Judson said. “People wrote from Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, Texas,
A representative from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office testified to the
effectiveness of the letters — her office branch received more than
2,500, he said, and many more arrived at Cantwell’s offices — a volume
of mail the first-term senator had never seen before.
The Judsons initially wanted to make domestic violence training tied to
access to weapons and supplies, but security concerns trumped that
Domestic violence of course, is a national, not a regional problem. The
Centers for Disease Control estimates 5.3 million Americans are victims
of domestic violence each year, the majority of them women.
“This is an American scourge,” Inslee said. “It cannot be solved in the privacy of our own homes.”
Now the Tacoma area, which has been scarred by the events of April
2003, is a leader in ending the problem, Inslee said. The Crystal
Judson Brame Family Justice Center in Tacoma, which opened Dec. 12,
will be the primary locus of that change.
Haley Judson (the name she now goes by), who turned 11 just two days
after the ceremony, said the legislation had particular importance to
“It means a lot to me because my mom had to go through a lot,” she
said. “Other women — and men — shouldn’t go through this; this will let
them know they’re not alone, we’ll always be there for them.”
Reach reporter Callie White at 853-9224 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.