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House discusses domestic violence bill

January 25, 2010

Domestic violence laws in Indiana could get stricter, if a bill before the general assembly is approved.

The legislation requires people convicted of domestic violence to attend violence intervention programs. It also lets Hoosiers as young as fifteen file a protective order. And it forces school corporations to provide domestic violence programs to their students.

Some who testified in committee today say there are two parts of the bill they don’t like. The first requires supervised visitation for fathers convicted of domestic battery. The second requires police to keep someone accused of domestic violence in custody for twenty four hours, three times longer than current law.

While opponents say that would violate accused batterers rights, Jon Kuss director of the Hoosier Hills Pact, says victims need more time to remove themselves from a dangerous situation.

“Often times these incidents, most of the time these incidents happen in the middle of the night. To give her eight hours to put together a safety plan and implement it is not enough.”

Bill author, Representative Sandra Blanton of Orleans, said she will work with opponents to iron out issues before the committee votes tomorrow morning.

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