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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 6, 2018 04:05 PM
From: Representative Kate Harper and Rep. Frank A. Farry, Rep. Perry S. Warren
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Children Who Witness Domestic Violence
TO: All House Members
FROM: Representative Kate Harper, Representative Frank Farry, and Representative Perry Warren

DATE: April 18, 2018

SUBJECT: Protecting Children Who Witness Domestic Violence

I hope you will join us in sponsoring legislation to recognize that when a child witnesses an act of domestic violence, the child too is victimized.
There is a devastating impact on children who witness domestic violence. The short-term consequences include increased anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, aggression, difficulty concentrating, social isolation, and a lack of empathy. The long-term consequences are similarly troubling. When these affected children grow up, they are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior. They are also more likely to be caught up in a vicious cycle of abuse: they become an abuser or an abused person themselves. Unfortunately, the data suggest that children often witness domestic violence. One study found that half of the domestic violence crimes were committed in the presence of at least one child.
Our bill will amend the current law for endangering the welfare of a child to provide that it shall be a separate offense if an offender commits a personal injury crime against a family member which is witnessed, by sight or sound, by a child. This change will recognize that children who are subjected to scenes of domestic violence are victims as well.

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Introduced as HB2604