Date Set for Ford Study on Domestic Violence Victims
OKLAHOMA CITY – A date has been set for Rep. Ross Ford’s interim study on finding ways to better assist domestic violence victims and to address the generational impact of such abuse. Interim study IS23-051 is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 4 in Room 450 at the State Capitol, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd. It will be heard by the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee. "I've talked with countless individuals and organizations who are excited to help Oklahomans and offered their assistance in any way. Together I'm hoping these subject-matter experts can help us understand what works and how better we can help these victims," said Ford, R-Broken Arrow. “I want to look at early intervention, programs that will help empower victims to leave their attackers before it is too late, and that help show what healthy relationships look like." Ford, a former police officer, said one area of focus will be how domestic violence forensic examinations can provide much needed support for district attorneys to help enhance punishments for perpetrators of this crime. Ford said his study is made even more timely with recent news reports that show Oklahoma now ranks highest in domestic violence for both men and women and third in the U.S. for the number of women killed by their significant others. In addition, the Oklahoma Coalition for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is no longer operating after a loss of federal funding. This came after a federal audit found misspending of public funds by former staff and board members. "I think with the position we've found ourselves in, it's imperative we don't just try to go back to the old method that allowed our state to rank the highest in domestic violence," Ford said. "Instead, we must look at a variety of options and organizations to try and break the generational cycle of abuse our state is in. While it is important to look after the victims, I want to ensure we are also doing what we can to help educate and prevent future victims." Rep. Ford appreciates all those who have contacted his office already. He encourages anyone else wanting to join the conversation to attend the interim study or continue reaching out to his office either to his email at Ross.Ford@okhouse.gov or by calling (405) 557-7347.