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Gov. Branstad Proposes Domestic Abuse Law Changes

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Monday morning Gov. Terry Branstad returned to work at the Statehouse for the first time since being hospitalized last week with flu-like symptoms.

His first order of business on his first day back was an important one, changing Iowa laws to protect domestic abuse victims.

"These people are dangerous people and they are people that are threatening others. And what we’re trying to do is make sure that when we have a protective order that it is meaningful and that we have a system to follow up and prevent tragedies from occurring,” said Branstad.

Gov. Branstad laid out specifics of his plan to increase penalties on repeat domestic abusers. Under the governor's plan, anyone convicted of third offense domestic abuse, harassment, or stalking would have to serve a mandatory 85-percent of their sentence.

They also would only get "time served credit" if they are enrolled in a treatment program.

The bill would also require GPS tracking for high-risk offenders.

Sheila Lynch knows the dangers of domestic abusers. Her daughter, Thereseann, was killed by her estranged husband in 2009.

She says the plan the governor is proposing will save lives and would have saved her daughter.

"This bill goes beyond what I even hoped for. If this bill had been in effect when my daughter was being stalked by the man she was trying to divorce, I believe with all my heart she would still be here,” Lynch said.

The governor submitted his plan to the legislature Monday so it is still not close to coming up for a vote yet.

4 comments

  • John Smith

    Gee, I reckon the Governor had better get that brand new prison open some day. Looks like we will be needing it.

  • Amanda

    offenders have to wear a ankle bracelet n if they come near the victim id get a phone call or text to see if im okay n then u have to give them a special pin # or theres another # for an emergency situation…… am I understanding this correctly

    • Amanda

      Or am I getting that confused with the program they have that notifies you when your offender gets out? Cuz if they added that onto it I think we would all feel a lot safer… as in the victims or the family of victims

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