Indiana bill aims to extend ‘cooling off period’ for people accused of domestic violence

Indiana bill aims to extend ‘cooling off period’ for people accused of domestic violence
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:25 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Indiana Senate Bill 158 would call for suspected domestic violence abusers to sit in jail for 24 hours.

Albion Fellows Bacon Center Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Sonia Waters say the bill proposes for the suspected abuser to be in jail 16 hours longer than the standard eight hours.

“Anytime an offender is behind bars, the longer we’re absolutely going to be for,” said Waters. “Doesn’t sound like very much but time, but it does give more time for a survivor to reach out, get a protective order in place.”

Waters says that Senate Bill 158 extending the period of time a suspected abuser is behind bars could give victims more time to figure out what’s next for them.

“Allows more time for safety planning, gathering some belongings and a lot of times leaving the home and finding a safe place to stay,” said Waters. “Whether it be our temporary emergency shelter, another emergency shelter in town, family members, so it’s a huge impact on that aspect as well.”

The bill would also make the invasion of privacy charge be considered a Level 6 felony if the suspected abuser is found with prior records of unrelated criminal stalking convictions. This means if the suspected abuser has any record of criminal stalking, they will be charged with a low-grade felony.

According to Indiana General Assembly, the bill received a 6-2 vote from the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law on Tuesday.

Click here to access Indiana Senate Bill 158.

If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, call the Albion Fellows Bacon Center 24-hour crisis line at 1-812-422-5622.