Engleman crafts legislation to better protect victims of domestic violence
After the death of a Madison woman, State Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, authored legislation to help put more abusers behind bars and protect victims of domestic violence.
Under Engleman’s proposed legislation, a prosecutor could ask a judge to consider additional evidence to obtain an arrest warrant after a judge’s initial denial. The court would be required to set a hearing within 24 hours of filing. Engleman said this could help save lives, like that of Laura Russell of Madison who, in 2016, was murdered by her estranged husband after a judge denied a request of a no-contact order based on a lack of sufficient evidence and, instead, issued a summons to appear.
“This legislation would provide more tools to help ensure abusers are arrested and no longer in contact with victims,” Engleman said. “Sadly, the majority of female murder victims are nearly always killed by someone they know. It’s important that we continue improving our laws in order to save lives.”
From June 2020 to May 2021, 74 Hoosiers lost their lives to domestic violence, according to the Domestic Violence Network. Engleman said there is also an alarming trend, in large part due to the pandemic, showing a rise in domestic violence and intimate partner violence since 2020.
House Bill 1038 is assigned to the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee for consideration. To learn more and watch legislative proceedings, visit iga.in.gov.