Legislation to give additional protection to domestic violence victims is now awaiting action in the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 2022, by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Sue Tibbs, R-Tulsa, expands current law by enabling victims to see exactly where their abusers are via GPS.
Two years ago, Leftwich authored and passed legislation to allow court-ordered GPS tracking of domestic abusers. Law enforcement can access their location and determine if they are in violation of any court orders regarding proximity to their victim.
“SB 2022 will empower victims of domestic violence by giving them access to that same information,” Leftwich said. “They can get online and see exactly where their abuser is in real time. Victims can also obtain an electronic device that will warn them if their abuser approaches within a certain distance.”
Leftwich stressed the legislation would not have any fiscal impact on the state, the victim or even the abuser—however it could prevent further abuse.
“Overwhelmingly, the victims of domestic violence are women and children who are stalked and intimidated by their abuser,” Leftwich said. “A protective order from a court is a piece of paper that does nothing to actually prevent future attacks—but if the victim can see where her abuser is and avoid that location, or alert law enforcement if necessary, then I believe we can give greater protection to victims of domestic violence.”
SB 2022 has been formally introduced in the House. The next step will be for the bill to be assigned to and heard by a House committee.