Legislation Fighting Domestic Violence Moving Through The State Capitol


Monday, March 15th 2021, 9:22 am
By: Tevis Hillis


A piece of legislation would let tenants terminate their lease early if a victim of domestic violence needs out.

If passed, Senate Bill 200 would make it possible for victims to give written notice, a police report, or a protective order to their tenant to get out of an unsafe situation.

And even better, victims would not be left with additional bills or penalties if they were to leave.

The Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality review board says 115 people died in 2019 from domestic violence.

45% of them were killed by a family member.

39% were killed by an intimate partner.

6% were killed by a roommate.

That left an uneasy taste in Senator John Michael Montgomery's mouth, hoping to change Oklahoma's crisis.

"I feel like some people feel trapped in those situations, and we need to make sure that we are empowering them with everything possible to get out of that and give them the resources to get out," said Sen. John Michael Montgomery. 

 The Lawton Republican says this would give victims a chance at a fresh start.

It would also help victims of stalking.


Additional information coming from the Capitol:

House Bill 1948 from OKC Democrat Jose Cruz passed unanimously through the house.

That law would expand the definition of family or household member in case of domestic violence.

Right now, the state statute only protects victims who are related to or share a household with their abusers.

The new bill will be heard in the Senate soon.

 

If you are a victim and need help, call the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault at 800-522-7233. The number will be answered 24/7 by YWCA Hotline staff for help anywhere in the state.