Indiana Gov. Holcomb signs victims rights bill

Better protects domestic violence, child victims
Indiana Gov. Holcomb signs victims rights bill
Updated: May. 30, 2019 at 5:52 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A new bill in Indiana gives crime victims more rights, especially when it comes to protective orders.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill Wednesday. It includes protections for children who are victims of inappropriate contact before it escalates to abuse.

This law was inspired by a parent’s efforts to get a restraining order against a man allegedly grooming their 14-year-old daughter. But because nothing physical had occurred, they legally could not file for her protection.

That all changes now. This law adds confidentiality provisions for victims in court documents, forbids Department of Child Services reports from being released during a criminal investigation, and allows victims to have an emotional support animal or comfort animal item while testifying in court.

A Forensic Interviewer at Holly’s House told us this is all very positive and will help put a stop to inappropriate contact with minors.

“Almost all activity that occurs usually has some type of prior grooming activity whether that be online or contact whatever that may be and usually there’s nothing against the law about that so now that we have that kind of in place that can maybe prevent actual physical abuse from happening or sexual abuse from happening,” said Holly’s House Forensic Interviewer Molly Elfreich.

The element protecting DCS reports has already become law. The rest of the bill will take effect on July 1.

Victim’s Assistance Resources:

Albion Fellows Bacon Center: 1-800-339-7752

Holly’s House: (812) 437-7233

Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office Victim’s Assistance: 812-435-5158

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