New AR laws to prevent domestic violence, protect victims take effect

New AR laws to prevent domestic violence, protect victims take effect

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - New Arkansas laws aimed at preventing domestic violence and protecting victims took effect Wednesday.

The first law requires police to ask victims a set of questions to help identify which are most at risk of being killed and intervene accordingly.

The second creates "Laura's Card," a resource card police will give to victims with information about counseling, emergency services and more.

Two survivors of domestic violence told Region 8 News Monday that the laws do not go far enough since most victims cannot ask for help or are too scared.

Paul Holmes, the public information specialist with the Jonesboro Police Department, said officers respond frequently to domestic violence calls and have always had pamphlets similar to Laura's Card available.

"We've always been advocates of prosecuting these cases," Holmes said. "We'll continue to do that. We obtain all the information that we can. We will do the screening as required so that we will have enough information to move the case forward, even if the victim is unwilling or unable to do so. We will work to get the cycle of abuse stopped."

The third new law in Arkansas gives prosecutors and police the power to investigate and prosecute domestic violence crimes without requiring the victims to testify.

The fourth requires schools to include domestic and dating violence in their health curricula.

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