Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2016
Sen. Bryce Marlatt
Full Senate approves measure to better protect domestic
The full Senate has given unanimous support to legislation to better
protect victims of domestic violence. Senate Bill 1491, also known
as Kristen’s Law, was authored by Sen. Bryce
Marlatt and changes the legal definition of pattern of physical
abuse. The bill was approved Wednesday 44 to 0.
Marlatt said establishing a pattern of abuse results in tougher
fines and prison time for those convicted of domestic violence.
Under current law, there must be three or more separate incidences
of domestic abuse within the previous twelve months. He said his
legislation would reduce that by requiring two separate incidents
of domestic abuse to establish that pattern, and it would no longer
be required that the two incidents must have happened in the previous
year. If that pattern is established, conviction carries a penalty
of up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
“Oklahoma is ranked third in the nation for women killed by
men in domestic violence situations, and 41 percent of all homicides
in our state are linked to domestic violence,” said Marlatt,
R-Woodward. “The longer the abuse goes on, the more dangerous
the situation is for the victim. This bill clears the way for tougher
penalties to be handed down sooner, and hopefully, it can help us
The Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board studied 223
intimate partner homicide cases that occurred between 1998 and 2014
involving 224 perpetrators and resulting in the deaths of 259 victims.
The report found that in 74 percent of those cases, there was prior
evidence of domestic abuse.
“I think when this law was first passed, it represented an
important step forward in better protecting victims of domestic
violence by strengthening penalties against their attackers,”
Marlatt said. “But domestic abuse usually escalates, becoming
more dangerous. I think reducing the number of incidences required
for tougher penalties to apply is another important step for our
SB 1491 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Marlatt: (405) 521-5626