According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Those individuals account for 15 percent of all crimes in Indiana. To curb domestic violence, I am calling for establishing a team of professionals to study deaths or serious injuries resulting from these situations.
The new law would create an 11-member committee to review all fatalities or near-fatalities in the state that occurred due to domestic violence. Currently, five counties have committees to study domestic violence cases, and this law would expand the practice statewide. Members would train teams stationed in communities, review information gathered, and identify trends and patterns. Results of their findings would help them make recommendations to the state, which could help in developing policies aimed at preventing future tragedies.
The proposal would give the committee the ability to review current, ongoing cases. With full confidentiality, the committee could request all applicable records including the full coroner and autopsy reports, medical and mental reports, criminal case history and any Child In Need Of Services actions.
Our state has more than 90 organizations that provide domestic violence services. In 2015, more than 1,200 of these victims found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs.
As an advocate since 2010 for the Albion Fellows Bacon Center, I have seen firsthand the impacts of domestic violence. The center provides 24-hour service to victims of abuse in 11 of our surrounding counties including Vanderburgh, Posey, Warrick, Spencer, Perry, Dubois, Gibson, Pike, Orange, Crawford and Harrison. The organization helps victims of emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse. Each of its programs use the Trauma Informed Care framework, focusing on the overall well-being of each individual. If you or someone you know needs to get in touch with the center contact them at 1-800-339-7752.
Each year, I participate in one of the 100 Men Who Cook events, which raises money to benefit various organizations, including the Albion Fellows Bacon Center. More than $4 million has been raised through these events where participants cook their favorite meals in their own kitchens. To get involved with the event visit http://100menwhocook.co/.
Lawmakers are also working to take power away from abusers. If enacted, a new law would require wireless providers, under a court order, to allow victims of domestic violence to separate cell phone plans from their abusers who are also account holders. Currently, there is no standardized process for a victim who is not the primary account holder to separate from a wireless plan they share with their abuser. If the victim is not the primary account holder, they cannot make changes to their plan, allowing the abuser to track call histories and even use GPS to locate the victim.
This bill would also allow judges to include pets, as they would personal property, in a protective order for domestic violence. National studies show about 48 percent of domestic violence victims report that they delayed leaving because they are fearful of what will happen with their pets.
As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9833 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district. Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h75.
State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75,
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.
A high-resolution photo of Bacon can be downloaded by clicking here