Victims of domestic abuse benefit from house bills

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Legislature just recently passed a couple of bills that would benefit victims of domestic violence. Those bills are HB1534 or Act 577 and HB 1420 or Act 583.

HB 1534 will free victims from their abuser by separating them from a shared wireless plan.

"This is exciting," said Phyllis McClendon, executive director of the Haven of Northeast Arkansas. "This not only gets them away from the perpetrators, but it allows for them to gain their independence again."

The bill states that a judge can issue a court order to wireless providers that would require the transfer of billing responsibilities, phone numbers, and devices to the survivor without the account holder's consent.

Another bill signed into law that would benefit survivors of domestic abuse is HB 1420, which would give additional funding to domestic violence shelters across Arkansas.

"To receive extra funding is a blessing," said McClendon. "That money will be evenly divided throughout all of our shelters."

According to the bill, the extra funding will come from accessed fines charged to people who have been convicted of domestic violence crimes.

McClendon said she is happy knowing that the state is seeing domestic violence as an issue that needs to be addressed.

"Knowing that they are taking a stand against domestic violence, it is showing us that we have legislators that care about their own communities and passing a bill like this is one way to show it," said McClendon.

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