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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Debbe Leftwich
Senate District 44
Oklahoma County

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For Immediate Release: March 11, 2008

Sen. Debbe Leftwich

Senate Clears Use of GPS to Protect Victims of Violence

A bill proposing the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) to protect domestic abuse victims passed by a unanimous vote today in the Oklahoma State Senate. Authored by State Senator Debbe Leftwich, D-OKC, Senate Bill 2163 uses available technology to better protect Oklahoma citizens.

Leftwich said using all available resources and cutting-edge technologies to make Oklahoma safer is responsible government.

“I truly believe this law will provide a higher level of defense and protection to victims of domestic abuse and violence,” Leftwich said. “Too many victims continue to be harassed and preyed upon even after successfully obtaining a court-issued restraining order against their abusers.”

Leftwich said the GPS devices, which will be issued by court order to violent offenders who have repeatedly violated protection orders, will automatically notify both the law enforcement officials, employers and the victim should a violent predator breach geographic boundaries set by the court.

“By utilizing this technology, victims of violent assault will have another way to defend themselves and regain control of their life,” Leftwich said. “When victims of domestic assault are chased away from their homes and jobs, they live in a constant state of fear their abuser. The use of GPS will help protect them from further abuse.”

Offenders will also be responsible for the expense of the GPS bracelet, which is estimated to cost $4.50 per person per day.

The Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault reports there are about 25,000 domestic abuse calls every year in Oklahoma and victim service organizations, shelters and crisis centers, saw over 17,000 last year, including victims and children.

Coalition Executive Director Marcia Smith said the bill can help prevent future violence and abuse from happening.

“Perpetrators use technology to stalk victims,” Smith said. “This legislation allows technology to be used as a protection mechanism.”

For more information contact:
Senator Leftwich's Office:  (405) 521-5557

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