Domestic Violence Bill Not Moving Forward
A bill that makes it a crime to commit acts of domestic violence in the presence of a child is not moving forward. Members of the House Judiciary Committee sent Senate Bill Six to the 41st legislative day, killing the measure. Proponents of the bill say that witnessing acts of domestic violence is harmful for children, and say it causes severe emotional and developmental difficulties. They say Senate Bill Six brings attention to the issue. But opponents like Sioux Falls lawyer Ryan Kolbeck say there are already laws on the books to punish those who commit acts of domestic abuse.
“Opposing this bill does not mean that you support domestic abuse in front of children,” Kolbeck says. “Sometimes a new crime is needed, but only when there is an inadequate current law that does not do enough. I believe that our current system is adequate. The person would still be charged with domestic abuse, still be required to comply with the mandatory provisions that I talked about.”
Opponents also say the bill does nothing to prevent domestic violence. Committee members voted ten to three to send the measure to the 41st legislative day.