GUEST

Williams: Recent legislation on domestic violence

By Rep. Danny Williams

October is domestic violence awareness month, and I wanted to highlight recent legislation passed to increase protections for victims of domestic abuse, as well as other efforts by the Legislature to intervene and rehabilitate offenders while continuing to maintain victims' rights.

Senate Bill 200 authorizes a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking to terminate a lease without penalty by providing written notice and a protective order within 30 days of the incident to their landlord. The bill also prohibits retaliation or discrimination by landlords against victims.

Senate Bill 17 requires the lethality assessment used to assess a victim of domestic violence be available on the Attorney General’s website. The measure requires an officer conducting a lethality assessment on a potential domestic abuse victim to implement the protocol referral process to a domestic violence advocate from a certified or tribal program.

House Bill 2295 provides that a person arrested for the violation of a protective order, an act of domestic violence, domestic abuse, stalking or harassment is not eligible for a personal recognizance bond.

Several additional measures were enacted to provide additional protections to victims of violence.

House Bill 1892 creates a task force to study human trafficking, prostitution and child exploitation in Oklahoma. The task force will then recommend methods and laws to enhance and fund the efforts of law enforcement or community groups that are working to slow and stop prostitution, human trafficking or child exploitation.

Senate Bill 172 creates Ida’s Law and to use federal funding to gather data to address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous people. The measure creates the Office of Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons under the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) to work with tribal, state and federal authorities on missing persons and homicide cases. The office would also provide guidance to victims’ families, facilitate training and promote best practices and consult with community organizations to promote community relations.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-3224 or text "START" to 88788. The website, thehotline.org, also offers a chat function. It's free, confidential, and available 24/7.

Thank you for the honor of representing House District 28!

Rep. Danny Williams, a Republican, represents House District 28 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes Seminole County and northern Pottawatomie County.