Nevada Attorney General Laxalt Takes Aim at Domestic Violence
As we’ve discussed here before, Nevada has the unfortunate distinction of being among the states with the most domestic violence-related homicides. In the last year for which data is available, we ranked third in the nation.
Attorney General Adam Laxalt has proposed three bills (one in the Assembly and two in the Senate) in an effort to decrease the number of homicides caused by domestic abusers. These homicide victims are not just romantic partners or the other intended target, but family members, friends and sometimes even law enforcement officers called to the scene. Nevada’s Assistant Attorney General Wesley Duncan noted, “Domestic violence is something that touches the very rural parts and the metropolitan parts of our state.”
Two of the bills would increase penalties for domestic violence offenses such as battery and strangulation, making them higher category crimes that would carry longer prison sentences and fines.
The other bill would amend a law already in place to require that the parents or guardian of a domestic homicide victim be notified if that victim’s domestic partner is charged with the homicide. It would also require that family or guardians receive a copy of the coroner’s report.
The proposed legislation would also consolidate key Nevada domestic violence prevention organizations into what Asst. AG Duncan calls a “supercommittee.” This would help domestic violence experts better share information and improve practices.
Duncan says that with these bills, the AGs office “want[s] to send a message…that we don’t want to stand for this in our communities.”
The primary focus of any domestic violence victim and those living in a household where it is occurring should be getting away from the abuser and to a safe location. If an abuser continues to follow you and threaten or endanger your safety, a Nevada family law attorney can help you get a protective order and provide guidance on other steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal, “Laxalt attacks domestic violence in bill package,” Jessica Garcia, March 28, 2017