Deschambault bills to support survivors of domestic violence, reduce violence become law

Posted: July 14, 2021 | Senator Deschambault

AUGUSTA – Recently, two bills sponsored by Sen. Deschambault, D-Biddeford, LD 803, which will support domestic violence survivors, and LD 1491, which ensures access to domestic violence intervention services, were signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills.

“As a parent and lawmaker, I want all Maine children and adults to feel safe in their own homes. However, I know that too many Maine people have had to deal with domestic abuse and violence,” said Sen. Deschambault. “Together, these two bills will make a much-needed investment in domestic violence survivor support and domestic violence intervention to better protect all Mainers.”

LD 803, “An Act Regarding Violation of a Protective Order,” supports domestic violence survivors by honoring out-of-state protective orders that are issued in any court in the United States and making it a Class C crime to violate orders that are similar to protection orders.

LD 1491, “An Act To Ensure Access to and Availability of Violence Intervention Services To Reduce Domestic Violence in Maine,” ensures access to domestic violence services by allocating $287,500 to the Office of Victim Services in the Department of Corrections. These funds will be used to help indigent participants pay for the Batterers Intervention Program class fees.

In Maine, a domestic violence assault is reported to law enforcement every 2 hours and 22 minutes. During Fiscal Year 2020, the Maine courts had nearly 20,000 filings in the Family Division; of this total, half were for Protection from Abuse and Family Matters Post-Judgment. It also has been widely reported nearly half of the homicides in Maine involved domestic violence.

Both laws will go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.