Senate approves measures to strengthen laws on strangulation and for assault and battery on pregnant women
Ponca City Now - February 24, 2020 3:33 pm
(For digital audio, go to oksenate.gov and select “Media”)
A pair of bills aimed at increasing accountability for those convicted of domestic violence have been approved by the full Senate.
Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, is the author of both measures, which were approved on Monday.
Senate Bill 1103 deals with domestic violence attacks that deal with strangulation, a crime that is often a precursor to domestic homicide. Senate Bill 1104 deals with domestic violence against pregnant women.
“In recent years, I’ve worked closely with women’s shelters, advocates and with victims of domestic violence. Overwhelmingly, they feel Oklahoma needs to do more to hold those who commit these crimes accountable through stronger domestic violence laws,” Standridge said. “These bills are part of that effort.”
SB 1103 increases the maximum term for strangulation or attempted strangulation to 10 years. The measure also increases the maximum fine from $3,000 to $5,000. The maximum sentence for a second conviction would increase from 10 to 20 years in prison.
“When domestic violence includes strangulation, studies show it’s much, much more likely they’ll eventually murder their victim. Strangulation victims are 750 percent more likely to be murdered than victims who’ve never been strangled,” Standridge said. “I believe strengthening the penalties can help us save lives.”
SB 1104 would include the crimes of domestic assault and battery that results in great bodily injury and domestic assault and battery against a pregnant woman as 85 percent crimes, meaning those convicted of these crimes must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. The measure further adds assault and battery that results in great bodily injury to the list of crimes defined as violent offenses.
“Domestic violence is horrific no matter who the victim is, but it’s particularly heinous when the perpetrator attacks a woman who is pregnant,” Standridge said. “SB 1104 will ensure greater accountability for this terrible crime.”
Both measures now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
For more information, contact Sen. Rob Standridge at 405-521-5535 or email [email protected].