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Archive for January 21st, 2008

Utah Lawmakers To Tackle Domestic Violence

Posted by familydynamics on January 21, 2008

Utah lawmakers will be examining measures that relates to domestic violence in this year’s legislative session. While I agree with what they are doing, I have a problem with them wanting stats concerning the relationship between the victim and the accuser.

* HB0247 Domestic Violence and Dating Violence Amendments, Rep. David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City. Would make victims of dating violence eligible for protective orders. Only cohabiting couples – those who are married or live together – and couples who were previously married or have children together are now able to get protective orders.

* HB0065 Crime of Strangulation or Smothering, Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City. Strangulation and smothering would be defined as a felony rather than having prosecutors determine whether to charge it as a misdemeanor or felony. Advocates say the crimes are among the final red flags in relationships that turn deadly.

* Protective Order – Crime of Inducing Breach, Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City. The bill would make it a class C misdemeanor to induce the breach of a protective order.
“I’ve had constituents call and say, ‘Fine, I’m trying to abide by my protective order, but [the petitioner] calls me, sends me something in the mail, e-mails me, and if I respond . . . I’m breaking the protective order,’ ” McCoy said.

* Protective Order Amendments, Rep. Lorie D. Fowlke, R-Orem. Judges would be required to hear the defense of an accused abuser before extending a 20-day “ex parte” protective order. The amendment would limit extensions even after a defense is presented to 180 days and give judges authority to appoint attorneys to represent children involved in protective orders.

* Law Enforcement Tracking of Domestic Violence Statistics, Sen. Jon J. Greiner, R-Orem. Departments from Utah’s 10 largest cities would be required to record details they find when they make domestic violence calls, particularly the relationship between the victim and the accused offender.

I am still a little puzzle over their emphasis on the relationship between the victim and the accused offender because most of the time if one has a relationship with the accused, their request for help usually do not receive much attention. What do you think?


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