Full Senate approves measures to aid victims of sexual assault/domestic violence
Mike Seals - February 8, 2021 11:21 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has approved two bills aimed at better assisting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Sen. Kay Floyd is the principal author of Senate Bill 16, a request from the state’s Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) task force, and Senate Bill 17, dealing with Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP) used by law enforcement investigating domestic violence crimes. Both measures were approved unanimously on Monday.
Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, has been a member of the SAFE task force for the past several years working to address the backlog of sexual assault forensic evidence kits. SB 16 would further support sexual assault victims by giving them access to resources for counseling. Floyd said the bill was the result of collaboration between the District Attorneys Council, the Victim Services Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, and the SAFE task force.
SB 17 was developed in close cooperation with the Victim Services Unit of the Office of Attorney General and deals with the Lethality Assessment Protocol used by police and other law enforcement when investigating domestic violence crimes to determine the lethality of a specific situation. SB 17 gives guidance to law enforcement for informing victims about available resources.
“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 cross over to the House of Representatives and will be carried by House principal author, Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa.