New initiatives to protect crime victims

Several bipartisan bills moving through the Senate this session will make Iowa communities safer and ensure justice for crime victims.

House File 2265 ensures victims of domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and human trafficking don’t have to divulge in court proceedings where they live, unless there is a hearing before a judge and the court determines their safety will not be compromised. This builds on Iowa’s Safe At Home Act approved last year, allowing victims of stalking and abuse to use a confidential address through the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.

House File 2278 extends the statute of limitations for kidnapping and human trafficking of children to the victim’s 28th birthday, or three years after a perpetrator is identified through DNA testing, whichever is later. This will bring justice for many more victims; the current statute of limitations for these crimes is only three years.

House File 2399 strengthens penalties for stalking and unauthorized placement of a GPS device, which are behaviors that often accompany the violence of an abuser. In the majority of domestic violence killings, stalking precedes the murder. In addition, the bill makes sure:

– Abusers in prison face negative consequences if they refuse to participate in batterers’ education.

– Abusers are electronically monitored when on probation or parole.

– The courts use risk assessments to determine proper sanctions for abusers.

House File 2420 will help bring perpetrators to justice and possibly exonerate those mistakenly convicted of rape. The Attorney General’s Office will survey Iowa law enforcement to determine the number of stored rape kits throughout the state that have not been tested by Iowa’s Crime Lab.


State Sen. Steve Sodders can be reached by calling the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at 641-751-4140 or via email: steve.sodders@legis.iowa.gov


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