How to Change A Law
BELIEVE IN THE FOUR P’S OF PASSION, PLANNING, PATIENCE, AND PERSISTENCE. These must be used during the process to change a law.
REFER TO BENTLEY’S BOOKS: There are several chapters in “A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath“ that takes you through how Barbara changed the divorce law in California. She illustrates how she changed the law in relation to the four P’s of passion, planning, patience and persistence in “The Little Book of Success.”
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU START: You must be emotionally ready to invest the time and energy, and sometimes finances, to make it through the system. Have your recovered enough to be able to focus on the task? Are you strong enough to begin to help others or are you still working through your issues? Can you afford to spend money to travel, mail letters, or whatever else may be required?
WHAT LAW TO YOU WANT TO CHANGE? You must be specific. Will you modify existing law or create a new section? Determine as best you can how many and whom will be helped by the law. Gather supporters who will back your efforts.
AGENCIES THAT MAY BE OF HELP: Check out the Legal Issues resource link on the Recovery page for agencies that may be of help in your state. Contact agencies or their founders to see if there is something already being done where you can help. Check out the Family Court resource link on the Recovery page for agencies that deal with legal issues. These may be of help directing you in your state. It will take time to research this aspect. Contact your state and national representatives to see if there is any pending legislation which you can help support. Ask them for information on how to change the law in your state if there is no pending legislation that covers the changes you want to make.
THE LAW WILL PROBABLY NOT BE RETROACTIVE to help you in your circumstance. Are you prepared to fight for future victims?
WHO WILL CARRY THE BILL? Each state is different so it’s not possible to be specific about the process. But overall you must have a senator or representative carry the bill for you. Write a compelling letter asking for their help, stating what law you want to change and why. Mail the letter to as many of your appropriate local, state and national representatives as necessary. Do not give up. It took Barbara 18 months to find someone to carry her bill.
WHO WILL SPONSOR THE BILL? It is normal for a group to sponsor a bill but it can be done by only one person, like Barbara Bentley did.
LOBBYING: Learn about what it takes to lobby for a bill. In Barbara’s experience, she left this to the last minute and it created some interesting but stressful moments.
WHO WILL TESTIFY FOR YOU? Find other victims or agencies who will be willing to help you fight for the bill and who will testify.
CONTACT MEDIA and get their interest in following you efforts. This includes radio, television, newspapers, and on-line news sites.
ONE PERSON CAN
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
LET THAT PERSON BE YOU
“IT’S NOT IMPORTANT
WHICH TALENTS WE HAVE.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS
HOW WE USE THE ONES WE
HAVE TO HELP OTHERS.”