Ford Study to Focus on Domestic Violence Victims
Ponca City Now - August 18, 2023 6:51 am
Representative Ross Ford
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, will host an interim study on finding ways to better assist domestic violence victims and to address the generational impact of such abuse.
“As a former police officer, I unfortunately encountered many victims of this nature, and I’ve long wanted to find better ways to help them,” Ford said. “With the news of Oklahoma now ranking the highest in domestic violence for both men and women and third in the U.S. for the number of women killed by their significant others, it’s more important than ever for us as a state to look for improvements.”
During his time as a police officer, Ford said he saw how domestic violence forensic examinations can provide much needed support for district attorneys to help enhance punishments for perpetrators of this crime.
Ford is looking for subject-matter experts to come together to brainstorms ideas and explore programs that would better help domestic violence victims. Ford wants to look at early intervention, programs that help empower the victims to leave their attacker before it is too late, and that help show what a healthy relationship should look like.
“A healthy relationship is not a controlling relationship, and it’s important everyone out there knows that.”
The study is additionally timely given the recent news that the Oklahoma Coalition for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault lost federal funding and could soon dissolve after federal auditors found misspending of public funds by former staff and board members.
“With this potential loss of help and support for Oklahomans, it is incumbent we find solutions,” Ford said. “I want to make sure victims have everything they need to leave an abusive situation.”
Ford explained that often victims must leave behind prescription medication and other belongings, and that is one area where nonprofits, the state and area businesses can help.
Interim study IS23-051 has been assigned to the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee. The date for the study has not been set yet, but lawmakers have between Aug. 7 and Nov. 16 to conclude interim studies.
Rep. Ford encourages those willing to join the conversation to reach out to his office either to his email at [email protected] or by calling (405) 557-7347.
Ross Ford, a Republican, serves District 76 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of Tulsa County.