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-OKC) 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. The 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, “because it is a useful tool in evaluating the level of danger in a domestic violence situation.” Floyd said.
Domestic violence is rampant in this state and law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma responded to more than 24,000 reports of domestic abuse in 2012. Additionally, about two-thirds of the children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused, Floyd noted.
Floyd also thanked Senator David Holt (R-OKC) 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.”
Representative 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.
HB2526 now awaits approval by Governor Mary Fallin.