Bill to better protect domestic abuse victims passes Senate

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoman dies every five days on average as a result of domestic violence according to the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board.

Sen. Michael Brooks said he authored Senate Bill 1804 at the request of a district judge for clarification for those arrested for domestic violence and to better protect domestic abuse victims.

The bill specifies that the detention of someone arrested for domestic abuse, stalking or harassment, or domestic assault and battery or domestic assault and battery with a deadly weapon for 72 hours or longer does not constitute an unnecessary delay unless the person can establish prejudice by reason of the delay.

“Most domestic violence homicides occur shortly after victims report the abuse to authorities and their abuser is released from jail. This is a crucial period of time when victims especially need to be protected against their abusers,” Brooks said. “This bill will allow the courts to hold domestic violence offenders in custody for a ‘cooling down” period of 24 to 72 hours to allow victims to be able to clear out of their homes and apply for emergency victim protective orders before their abusers are released.”

According to the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, there were 1,785 domestic violence deaths between 1998 and 2018. In 2018, there were 82 domestic violence cases that resulted in 105 deaths – 88 were victims and 17 were the homicide perpetrators.

Approved by the Senate 44-2 Monday, SB 1804 now moves to the House.

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