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Why Sq 805 Is A Tragedy For Domestic Violence Victims

For four years, my sole responsibility was to prosecute domestic violence cases. I’ve met countless endangered women and children. I have seen the cycle of violence played out time and time again. I’ve watched offenders exercise power and control over their victims, and I have seen firsthand the trauma that is caused as a result of domestic violence. I have also witnessed the hope that is found when that cycle is broken.

SQ 805 will give no hope to victims of domestic violence. Currently, if an offender commits a felony act of domestic violence and has other prior felonies that are not domestic related, their sentence may still be enhanced to higher ranges of punishment. Proponents of SQ 805 want you to believe that domestic offenses will not apply to SQ 805 because some of these crimes are now categorized as violent. This simply is not true. SQ 805 defines “violent felony” as felony offenses that were specified as violent on January 1, 2020. No domestic violence offenses were categorized as violent at that time.

If SQ 805 passes, it will not matter how many times a domestic violence offender hits, beats, punches, strangles, or stabs someone they are in an intimate partner relationship with, they will serve the same amount of time in DOC as if it were their first offense. It will not matter whether it was their first felony conviction or their twentieth felony conviction.

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