Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: August 20, 2008
Rep. Paul Roan, Vickie Rankin, Sunshine Gross with the Domestic
Rep. Anastasia Pittman, Marcia Smith with the Domestic Violence
Coalition, Sen. Debbe
Leftwich, Rep. Charlie Joyner, and Jan Peery with YWCA gathered
for Gov. Brad Henry’s
ceremonial signing of legislation to use GPS to protect victims
of domestic violence.
Sen. Leftwich Says New GPS Law Will Protect Women from Abusers
State Sen. Debbe
Leftwich said a new law to help curtail attacks on women marks
a significant change in how Oklahoma deals with domestic violence.
Leftwich was present when Gov. Brad Henry conducted a ceremonial
bill signing of SB 2163 at the State Capitol on Wednesday. Leftwich
said the statute will take advantage of Global Positioning System
Technology (GPS) to better protect domestic abuse victims.
“According to the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review
Board, our state is tenth in the nation for women murdered by men.
Most of those women were in the process of trying to leave their
abusers when they were killed, and many had obtained Orders of Protection,”
said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City. “Too often, that piece of
paper does nothing to deter abusers from attacking again.”
In 20 percent of domestic homicides reviewed, Orders of Protection
had been utilized. In 67 percent of the cases where a protective
order was active at the time of the homicide, the defendant had
violated the order prior to the homicide.
“We need to be able to create a zone of safety for these women.
With GPS tracking, we can do that,” Leftwich said.
The devices, which will be court-issued, will automatically notify
both the victim and law enforcement officials if the perpetrator
violates the geographic boundaries set by the court.
“Basically, this helps create an electronic zone of safety
and a way to prevent another attack should the abuser violate those
boundaries,” Leftwich said. “By using GPS, we are taking
a proactive approach toward domestic abuse, and hopefully we’ll
be able to save lives.”
For more information
Sen. Leftwich's Office: (405) 521-5557