Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 21, 2016
Sen. Bryce Marlatt
Gov. signs ‘Kristin’s Law’; measure
will better protect domestic violence victims
Legislation that changes the legal definition of “pattern
of physical abuse” has been signed into law. Senate Bill 1491,
also known as Kristin’s Law, authored by Sen. Bryce
Marlatt and Rep. Scott Biggs, was approved by Gov. Mary Fallin
on Wednesday. Marlatt said the change will enable tougher penalties
to be handed down sooner—a change that could help save lives.
“Studies of cases right here in Oklahoma show that in the
vast majority of domestic violence cases that ended in homicide
there was prior evidence of domestic abuse,” said Marlatt,
R-Woodward. “Domestic violence tends to escalate. The more
incidents that happen, the more dangerous the situation becomes.
By applying stronger penalties sooner, hopefully we can stop some
of these offenders before it’s too late. I appreciate the
tremendous bipartisan support in both chambers and am grateful to
Governor Fallin for signing this bill into law.”
Under current law, there must be three or more separate incidences
of domestic abuse within the previous twelve months. Kristin’s
Law 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.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of reducing domestic
violence,” said Biggs, R-Chickasha, a former prosecutor. “Spouses
often have little recourse when the person who is supposed to be
in their corner is instead their victimizer. I think this legislation
will help us to intervene more quickly and increase the protection
of domestic violence victims. I thank Governor Fallin for her support
of this legislation.”
Kristin’s Law will become effective November 1, 2016.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Marlatt: (405) 521-5626