How lawmakers are working to address domestic violence on Capitol Hill

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah legislators are working with domestic violence victim advocates to improve funding and policy to promote safety and prevent domestic and sexual violence.

One in three Utah women will experience some form of domestic violence in her life, according to the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

“The percentage of our homicides that are perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner or family member,” said Jennifer Oxborrow, UDVC’s executive director.

She said 42 percent of adult homicides in Utah are related to domestic violence situations.

“We want to do more to make sure that people who are at the greatest risks are safe,” Oxborrow said.

Up on Capitol Hill Tuesday, lawmakers share how they hope to help.

“We can and we must do better,” said Senator Todd Weiler as he recited UDVC statistics.

“I’ve got a background check bill,” Rep. Brian King said.

“It’s on murdered and indigenous women,” Rep. Angela Romero said.

In an effort to keep Utahns safe, Romero wants to introduce a bill educating students on domestic violence.

“If we do the preventative end, we wouldn’t be talking about some of the stuff we’re talking about today,” Romero said.

King wants to change the way the justice system handles domestic violence cases.

“There to be a more formal process to educate those defendants number one, and number two, set up a way for them to relinquish and recognize that they are going to have to relinquish and guns that they own,” King said.

Every year, UDVC said roughly 80 Utah children witness the murder or attempted murder of their mother.

Domestic abuse or violence is when a family member or intimate partner hurts another, according to UDVC. It can be described as using coercion and threats; intimidation; emotional abuse; isolation; minimizing, denying and blaming; using children; gender privileged; and economic abuse.  

Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Glen Mills

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...