Change the Law in Your State

Maryland Gov Pics

Maryland GovPics

Believe it or not, changing a law is not impossible. Laws are created and changed based on the efforts of single individuals all the time. I have a good friend who did it after she was sexually assaulted but because of a statute of limitations could not press charges against her assailant when he was found.

One incredibly driven person, who could have let something like that destroy her channeled that energy into being the driving force to change the law in her state so that can never again happen. She has since helped change a second law at the state level as well.

I think the biggest issue is that people believe they can’t do something like help change a law. They are so devastated by what is happening that do exactly what the pathogenic parent wants them to do—feel helpless and alone.

Here are some of the things my friend (frankly I call her a heroine) told me about embarking on something like this as well as my own experience so far:

  1. This is not about you. It’s about changing the situation for others. If you try and do something like this and you are trying to save your own child it will come across. While you’ll likely get sympathy, it’s not likely you’ll get much beyond that.
  2. Recognize who you’re talking to. While you want to speak with representatives, never underestimate the influence of assistants and interns and anyone else you may meet along the way.
  3. Legislative bodies are comprised of individual people. Make one connection at a time. A bonfire can start from a single match. Be the match.
  4. Get to the point quickly and clearly. People are busy. The time for emotional reactions is not in a legislator’s office. Legislators cannot legislate feelings.  I have templates of materials I have been giving which have been getting very positive reactions. Contact me if you’d like samples.
  5. Be polite, but be persistent. You know this issue is important to you, probably more important than anything else. But the people you’re speaking with can get 5, 10 or more issues out in front of them a day.  Make a positive impression then remind them you’re there.

If anyone wants to work with me on getting laws changed in their state my friend Suz Remus and me would be happy to help get you started and provide support along the way.