Proposed Bills Aim To Protect Survivors Of Domestic Abuse

Aiexpress – Lawmakers are preparing for the upcoming state legislative session, where they will be considering a couple of bills that aim to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. These bills have gained significant support from advocacy organizations, highlighting the pressing need to address this issue.

Oklahoma leads the nation in domestic abuse cases, and according to members of Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) based in north Tulsa, there are several opportunities for the state to address this issue at the Capitol.

According to Tracey Lyall, the CEO of DVIS, it is crucial for legislators to prioritize the enactment of laws related to domestic violence.

Lyall emphasized that Senate Bill 1470, commonly referred to as the Oklahoma Survivors Act, aims to provide compassion and understanding to individuals who have experienced abuse and subsequently committed a crime against their abusers. The legislation seeks to not only offer leniency to these survivors but also to reduce the sentences currently imposed for offenses that arise from their victimization.

Lyall explained that this reform aims to address the issue of survivors who have experienced violence in their relationships and may have reacted aggressively in self-defense. Currently, these survivors often receive harsher sentences than the perpetrators themselves. The reform seeks to mitigate this by considering the circumstances and ensuring that survivors are not further victimized by the legal system.

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The bill was authored by Greg Treat, the Senate Pro Tem of Oklahoma. In a statement sent to 2 News, his office provided the following information:

Senate Bill 1470 is is about protecting victims of horrific acts at the hands of violent criminals. This legislation would ensure during the sentencing phase for a survivor of domestic abuse, who may retaliate against their abuser, the court will consider the abuse the individual experienced as a mitigating factor. We already have laws that protect victims who retaliate to defend themselves in self-defense situations. Victims of domestic violence are individuals who have sometimes suffered for years at the hands of an abuser. We must protect their rights to self-defense, just as we would if someone were trying to use deadly force while breaking into a home.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat is a highly respected and influential figure in the Senate.

Senator Michael Brooks (D-Oklahoma City) is the author of SB 1326.

The Marry Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act would be expanded by his proposed bill to include individuals who have been convicted of domestic abuse.

Violent offenders are required to provide their address to law enforcement within three days of being sentenced or released. They are also obligated to remain registered for a minimum of 10 years after completing their sentence.

According to Senator Brooks’ office, individuals who engage in domestic abuse pose a significant threat to society. The inclusion of domestic abusers in the violent crime registry could potentially contribute to saving lives.

Lyall expressed his satisfaction with the fact that both Brooks’ bill and his own prioritize addressing this critical issue. He did mention, however, that Brooks’ bill would benefit from some clarification.

“These individuals who cause harm may face difficulties in finding employment, which can have a negative impact on their ability to provide for their families. It would be misguided to assume that these individuals are no longer capable of fulfilling their parental responsibilities,” she expressed.

Legislators are now actively addressing this issue and demonstrating their commitment to doing what is right.

Lyall mentioned that she has been informed about another bill that is currently being developed. This bill aims to enhance state funding for organizations such as DVIS. It is noteworthy that these organizations have not witnessed an increase in funding for more than ten years.

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