Legislation to expand domestic violence services, authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, has passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. AB 689 will allow for survivors of domestic violence to seek help via text and other computer-based technologies.
“We have seen a horrific rise in domestic violence throughout the course of the pandemic,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “Now more than ever, domestic violence service providers need every available tool to help vulnerable Californians experiencing violence in the home.”
The Covid-19 Pandemic has led to a disturbing rise in domestic violence. In Sacramento, the Prosecutors Office has reported a 39% increase in police activity related to domestic violence over the last year.
Currently, domestic violence centers are hampered by a limited definition for phone-based hotlines in California law. Because of this, domestic violence centers are not eligible for state funding for other types of hotline services, such as text or chatlines.
By modernizing domestic violence shelter requirements to include the option of other technological platforms, AB 689 allows for domestic violence centers to be better equipped to help more survivors of domestic violence.
This bill is co-authored by Assemblymembers Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) and Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa).
AB 689 will be heard later in May for a vote on the Assembly floor.