Measure to combat domestic violence heads to Gov. Fallin’s desk

A bill to expand the use of an important domestic violence intervention tool is now on its way to the Governor. “I am honored to help bring this additional assistance to victims of domestic violence and our law enforcement community,” stated the bill’s author Rep. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, upon final passage.

House Bill 2526, Lethality Assessment, will extend a successful pilot program to assist police officers in danger assessment when responding to a domestic violence call.

Results of the assessment would indicate the type of shelter, domestic violence intervention program and/or other social services that should be provided to the victim. This type of analysis is already employed by the Oklahoma City and Tulsa police departments, Rep. Floyd said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, “because it is a useful tool in evaluating the level of danger in a domestic violence situation.”

Floyd noted that state and law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma responded to more than 24,000 reports of domestic abuse in 2012. Additionally, about two-thirds of children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused.

Floyd thanked Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, for presenting the bill in the Senate.

“Oklahoma has the third-highest rate in the nation of women being murdered by men, and that is unacceptable,” said Senator Holt. “This bill directly addresses our domestic violence crisis by giving law enforcement the tools to help victims receive the appropriate security or services they need.”

Holt shepherded the measure to unanimous support in the Senate this week. With Floyd’s guidance, the proposal cleared the House last month, with 77 votes.

Rep. Floyd served as an assistant state attorney general, and was a state administrative law judge and special municipal court judge for Oklahoma City for 22 years. She currently represents House District 88 in central Oklahoma City.

Sen. Holt is past aide to Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, and currently represents Senate District 30 in northwest Oklahoma City.

H.B. 2526 now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk for consideration.