Public Safety Committee approves aid measures
Mike Seals - February 3, 2021 11:22 pm
Bills focus on victims of sexual assault and domestic violence
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Public Safety Committee has given unanimous approval to two measures 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.
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 will further 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.”
Floyd said SB 16 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.
“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 measures will now move to the full Senate for further consideration.