With a 47-0 bipartisan vote, the Oklahoma State Senate today approved a bill that would utilize the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to protect domestic abuse victims. Authored by State Senator Debbe Leftwich, Senate Bill 2163, now goes to Governor Brad Henry for approval.
Leftwich, an Oklahoma City Democrat, said the plan makes smart use of existing technology to better protect Oklahoma citizens.
"We have a responsibility to protect victims those who can not protect themselves and employing all available technologies, like GPS, will provide a higher level of defense and protection to victims of domestic abuse in Oklahoma, Leftwich said.
She said the GPS devices, which will be court-issued, will automatically notify both the victim and law enforcement officials if the perpetrator violates geographic boundaries set by the court. Offenders will also be responsible for the expense of the GPS bracelet, which is estimated to cost $4.50 per person per day.
The Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault reported there are about 25,000 domestic abuse calls every year in Oklahoma and victim service organizations, shelters and crisis centers, saw over 17,000 last year, including victims and children.
Leftwich said the use of GPS will help victims restore order to their daily lives.
Living in a constant state of fear and thinking your abuser could be around any corner is a huge burden for any individual, Leftwich said. I hope this gives victims a healthier peace of mind and the space and freedom to recover.