Measure Seeks to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence

Thursday, January 22nd 2009, 8:09 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The recent deaths of an El Reno family have prompted an Oklahoma legislator to push for more protection for domestic violence victims.

One proposal would allow victims to arm themselves in certain situations.

YMCA Director Janet Peery has seen many victims' lives lost to domestic violence.

"It's not just a shame, it's a crime and just like any other form of abuse, if you saw somebody jump out and beat up the stranger, you'd call the police," Peery said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee is pushing two measures to protect domestic violence victims. One measure would allow a rape victim to get medical care without having the case immediately reported to law enforcement.

"This bill says they can request a rape kit and take care of their personal issues and then at a later time, they can deal with the law enforcement issues rather than deal with it all at once," Coffee said.

The second measure would allow those who get an emergency victim protection order to also get an emergency license to carry a concealed weapon.

Both measures are to help victims take proactive steps in hopes of saving lives.

"So often we focus on punishing the offender, but sometimes we do things that makes it more difficult for victims," Coffee said. "This is an effort to try to focus on that side as well."

For the YWCA, the measure could also provide state funding to help their victims.