EXPLAINER: 2 pre-filed bills in the Missouri House and Senate would help victims and survivors of domestic violence

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:41 PM CST
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - A House bill and Senate bill pre-filed ahead of the 2022 legislative session aims to help victims and survivors of domestic violence.

A House bill pre-filed ahead of the 2022 legislative session aims to take firearms away from anyone who is convicted of domestic assault.

”Most people who have been in domestic violence have used a gun, and most them are using it to have control over their victim,” said Judy Kile, executive director of COPE, a domestic violence shelter in Lebanon.

She says that firearms oftentimes install fear in the victim.

”I know with my twin sister, [an offender] would hold the gun to her head and act as if he’s going to kill her,” said Kile.

She says even if the abuser isn’t using it against someone, just having the gun can create fear, and abusers can feed off that fear.

”There would be times when she would walk into the room and he’d be cleaning the gun, because he knew she was scared of it. He would just sit there and clean it and just look at her,” said Kile.

Part of the bill language says this can be implemented in an order of protection.

”It can be convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic abuse, and so that’s what we’re looking at is the conviction. It has to have a conviction first, or it has to have an order of protection that says that this person is violent,” said Kile.

She has given multiple talks in Jefferson City regarding this legislation.

”I have spoken at several of the committee meetings. For the last three years, we’ve been trying to do this, and I have gone to Jefferson City and spoken at the House committee meetings about this. Yes, I would do anything,” said Kile.

She also says it’s not that she is against firearms, she is against the firearms being in the wrong hands.

”I am a card carrying member. You know, I have firearms, so I am not against firearms. I’m against firearms in this situation,” said Kile.

The Missouri Senate also pre-filed a bill that would deal with the rights of victims regarding how an investigation is conducted.

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