ACTION: Stop Criminalized Survivorship

Victims should not be sent to prison for fighting back.

Domestic violence survivors are serving excessive prison sentences. In Oklahoma, we have the second highest rate of women being killed by their partners in the country. We also have had the highest women's incarceration in the world for the last generation. What this says is that we have come to accept that women will be killed by their domestic partners in Oklahoma, but when they fight back or engage in risky behavior to self-medicate their trauma, we punish them excessively. Being a woman in Oklahoma is a no-win situation.

House Bill 1639

This bill will allow survivors of domestic/interpersonal violence to introduce evidence of their abuse in court and receive a lower sentence. It will also allow people who are serving time in prison the opportunity to apply for a lower sentence if they can prove they were victims of violence at the time of the crime, and that the violence was substantial factor in the crime. We have asked for the law to require courts to reduce sentences when the abuse is proven. Our research indicates there are between 150 and 500 survivors in Oklahoma prisons who can prove their victimization led to their prosecution. The full impact of this bill will save $3.9 Million to the state budget in averted prison costs. This amount does not include the positive income to the tax base when these survivors become tax paying citizens.

Support HB 1639 to bring true justice to survivors in Oklahoma.

Sponsored by