Tell me have you heard..... There is a new Law in town and it is called Kaity's Law!
The below is an excerpt from the Press Release put out by the AZ Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
SB1088 will afford those individuals abused by their significant other the same safety precautions those who are married, formerly married, live together, formerly lived together, have a child in common, or are related by blood or court order, already have. It will also allow for law enforcement and prosecution to hold those offenders with a propensity for violence, accountable.
Under Arizona’s Three Strikes Law, a third domestic violence misdemeanor can be tried as a felony, but prosecution’s hands have been tied when it comes to cases of this nature, given Arizona Statute did not recognize dating relationships under the law.
Arizona has one of the highest domestic violence related homicide rates in the country. In 2008, there were approximately 27 domestic violence related deaths involving persons in “dating relationships.” Among those murdered was Kaitlyn Sudberry. Kaitlyn, affectionately known as “Kaity”, was only 17 years old and was walking home from school when her abusive ex-boyfriend shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself. This tragedy was the inspiration behind Senator Paton’s bill this legislative session and for whom the new law will be named.
The prevalence of dating violence is staggering: 1 in 5 high school students experience physical or sexual violence in their relationships, and young women ages 16 to 24 are three times more likely than any other age group to be abused. Without state laws to protect these young lives, their safety is at significant risk.
What does this mean, you ask..... Well, it basically means that if you are dating someone and they abuse you, you have certain rights under the Domestic Violence statues 13-3601 once Kaity's Law is enacted on Sept 30, 2009.
We know Kaity's Law is too late to protect Kaity and will not bring her back.
Even so, we choose to think of Kaity's Law as Kaity protecting so many others in spirit.