New Bills Targeting Domestic Violence Proposed In 2021

February 25, 2021

By Charlotte Spencer

On Feb. 4, we published a story on proposed child protection laws in the United States available here. This week, we are reviewing proposed domestic violence laws other than those that focus specifically on child protection. As of Feb. 25 2021, several bills that touch on the subject of domestic violence have been proposed. Here is a look at the ones most focused on this issue.

S.Amdt.834 To S.Con.Res.5

This is an amendment to S.Con.Res.5, which sets the Congressional budget for the U.S. government for 2021, and sets forth appropriate budget levels for 2022 – 2030. This amendment establishes a deficit neutral reserve fund for improving services and interventions concerning sexual assault, family violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and child abuse. This amendment has bipartisan support.

To view this amendment click here.

H.R.649Abby Honold Act

If made law this would authorize the Office of Violence Against Women to improve the handling of crimes by incorporating a trauma informed approach to both response to, and investigations of, crimes. This bill has bipartisan support, and also has a companion piece in the Senate.

For the full text click here.

S. 119 – Abby Honold Act

This is the Senate bill that corresponds to H.R.649. For the full text click here.

S. 120 – Safe Connections Act of 2021

This Senate Bill with bipartisan support is titled “A bill to prevent and respond to the misuse of communications services that facilitates domestic violence and other crimes.” If passed, it would help address changes to technology since original domestic violence laws were written. Specifically, it would address the issue of shared mobile service contracts between abusers and survivors.

For the full text click here.

H.R. 763

This bill also enjoys bipartisan support. If made law, it would amend CAPTA (the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act) to include animal abuse in the national clearinghouse for information relating to child abuse and neglect. This could help improve child safety because child abuse and animal abuse are often committed by the same offenders.

For more on the link between domestic violence and animal abuse click here for the Humane Society’s animal cruelty and human violence FAQ page, or click here for the National Sherriff’s Association page on animal cruelty and domestic violence.

For the full text of H.R. 763 when it becomes available click here.

H.R. 1034

This bill with bipartisan support is focused on helping law enforcement deal with the increase in domestic violence during Covid-19. It would require the Attorney General to issue guidance to law enforcement specifically on this matter.

For the full text of H.R. 1034 when it becomes available click here.

The writer is a lawyer and a coder, and a member of the Arizona bar.