Oklahoma Senate approves bills to help domestic violence, sexual assault victims

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Two measures that aim to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence have been approved by the Oklahoma Senate.

Sen. Kay Floyd is the principal author of Senate Bill 16 and Senate Bill 17.

Senate Bill 16 was filed at a request from the state’s Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence task force. The measure would support sexual assault victims by giving them access to resources for counseling.

“Some of the kits have languished for years. While reducing the backlog is tremendously important, we also know the process can be very difficult for the victims,” Floyd said.  “This bill will give Oklahoma’s Crime Victims Compensation Board access to written documentation contained in the kits necessary to establish eligibility for resources.”   

Senate Bill provides guidance to law enforcement officers who are investigating domestic violence crimes.

“The Lethality Assessment Protocol is used by police and other law enforcement when investigating domestic violence crimes to determine the lethality of a specific situation,” Floyd said.  “SB 17 simply gives guidance to law enforcement for informing victims about available resources.”

Both bills were unanimously approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee before being approved by the Oklahoma Senate.

“I want to give my sincere thanks to my colleagues in the Senate for their bipartisan support of these measures.  Each of these bills will provide more access to much-needed information and resources to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence as they pursue justice and rebuild their lives,” Floyd said.

Both measures now head to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for consideration.

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