Bill that would’ve expanded evidence against alleged domestic abusers is deferred

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Updated: Jul. 12, 2020 at 11:26 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A measure aimed at protecting survivors of Domestic Violence was deferred at the Capitol Friday.

House Bill 2610 would have allowed prosecutors to use some of the victim’s statements to first responders against alleged abusers.

Advocates say those who are in abusive relationships are often afraid to speak up in court. Those statements to first responders would strengthen a case against an alleged abuser.

Acting Honolulu Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto says changing the law would’ve also given the courts a clearer picture of the events.

“It would show her eyes, it would show her fear, it would show the jury or the judge a better picture of what really happened,” he said.

The Honolulu Police Department supports the measure’s intent, but in written testimony, expressed constitutional concerns with the bill as written.

In the final days of the legislative session, the bill’s history showed the State House disagreed with amendments from the Senate, ultimately resulting in the deferral of the bill.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men in the U.S. experience domestic violence.

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