LOCAL NEWS

2 Utah Bills Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence Generating Buzz

Jan 30, 2019, 11:51 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On the heels of the senseless murders of Lauren McCluskey and Sarah Hawley, lawmakers are now proposing bills to protect victims of domestic violence.

More than one dozen bills have been proposed this legislative session, and two of them have been generating a lot of buzz for how they could change state law.

Currently one in three women in Utah experience sexual and domestic violence. It’s a statistic the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition is working to improve while also working to help victims access more tools for help.

According to the coalition, oftentimes the issues go unmet by the state’s laws and statutes. One issue deals with victims of sexual and domestic violence to file protective orders against a perpetrator. Currently, only victims who have been dating or have been in a cohabiting relationship can file for protective orders.

According to research from Brigham Young University, that leaves 64 percent of victims who can’t file a protective order.

House Bill 100 would change that.

“It gives people the ability to do something themselves without waiting, necessarily for law enforcement to act, or a prosecutor, or without hiring an attorney,” said Rep. Lowry Snow, R-District 74.

Another bill to help victims of domestic violence is H.B. 137, which would increase the penalty for repeat offenders to 10 years, opposed to the current five years.

According to the coalition, at least half of Utah’s homicides are perpetrated by current or former partners.

 

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2 Utah Bills Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence Generating Buzz