New legislation that could help with domestic violence resources

Jan 6, 2023, 6:10 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2024, 7:36 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — After the tragic deaths in Enoch, Utah, leaving eight people dead, legislators have been working on new legislation to help those experiencing domestic violence.

Rep. Todd Weiler is sponsoring a bill requiring the lethality assessment program (LAP) in domestic and intimate partner violence cases.

It’s 11 yes-or-no questions designed to see if a person is in danger.

“Having an officer there with a two-minute test and be able to tell them ‘hey you are in danger, don’t go home tonight, and here are some resources,’ those are things are that we can do,” Weiler said.

Advocates remind domestic violence victims help is available following Enoch, Utah murders

Another bill being introduced is HB43 – which would create a domestic violence task force. And HB 490 will likely be reintroduced this year, which creates a statewide coordination of victim services.

“We are all doing pieces of this work, but it isn’t coordinated, but I hope that this changes that,” said Jennifer Campbell, executive director of Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

Campbell said she hopes this new legislation can move the state of Utah to be all on the same page regarding the definition of domestic violence.

“It’s so important that we all use the same definition so that survivors don’t have to keep finding ways to ask for help – we should be the ones to recognize they need it,” she said.

Campbell said this new legislation, plus the 53 million dollars that the governor allotted to domestic violence prevention in his proposed budget, is a step in the right direction.

“We need these funds, we need these services, they are lifesaving, without these funds we can’t guarantee they will be there,” Campbell explained.

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New legislation that could help with domestic violence resources