For Immediate Release: April 25, 2012
Sen. Kim David
Senate approves bill strengthening protections for stalking/domestic
The Senate gave unanimous approval to House Bill
2396, by Sen. Kim
David and Rep. Wade Rousselot, to better protect victims of
domestic violence by increasing protective orders from three to
five years. The measure would also allow lifetime protective orders
in certain cases.
The bill came to the Senate floor on Wednesday, which was also
Domestic Violence Awareness Day at the State Capitol and was a
legislative priority for the Oklahoma Coalition .Against Domestic
Violence and Sexual Assault. Oklahoma is currently 11th in the
nation in the number of women killed by men. David said increasing
the length of time a restraining order remains in effect is important
to the safety and well-being of domestic violence victims.
“In developing this legislation, I’ve worked with
victims of domestic violence and stalking who’ve been harassed
and terrorized for years, but have to return to the courts every
three years to renew their protective orders. They have to be
in the same room with the person who has victimized them without
any guarantee the protective order will be renewed,” David,
R-Porter. “This bill will make a tremendous difference in
the lives of these individuals by ensuring they always have that
protection and aren’t forced to continually face their abusers
in court every few years.”
Under HB 2396, a judge could issue a lifetime protective order
if an individual has a history of violating any court or governmental
orders or has a previous felony conviction for stalking and a
court order for a final Victim Protection Order has previously
been issued against the person in this state or from another state.
The protective order would remain in effect until modified by
the court. If the defendant is behind bars, the protective order
would remain in full force during the period of incarceration.
“In 2010, 51 Oklahomans, mostly women and children, were
victims of domestic homicide. More than 25,000 were victims of
domestic violence,” said Rousselot, D-Okay. “This
bill gives us another tool to better protect victims of stalking
and domestic violence, and hopefully will help us save lives.”
HB 2396 now goes to the governor for consideration.