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$16M bill for domestic violence prevention awaits Governor's signature

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jun 05, 2024

TULSA, Okla — A bill passed the Oklahoma Senate that would increase funding for domestic violence protection agencies.

The legislation still awaiting the governor’s signature would provide more than $16 million to services across the state.

Heather Williams is an advocate for sexual assault survivors at Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS).

"I'm there sometimes, probably one of the most traumatic points of their life that they'll ever go through, so I'm there to help support them through that,” said Williams.

2 News talked with DVIS earlier this year about bills that could help domestic violence victims:

Legislation filed to help victims of domestic violence

Williams has been working for DVIS for four years, helping sexual assault victims with things like recovery and how to protect themselves. She provides them with self-care items and a personal alarm in case of another attack.

She told 2 News why working at DVIS motivates her.

"I had an incident when I was a child two times. two different people and once when I was an adult,” said Williams.

DVIS CEO Tracy Lyall said the bill's passing could help rural and urban agencies.
"It shows Oklahoma cares about women and men and children suffering from domestic or sexual violence,” said Lyall.

Williams said this financial assistance is long overdue with the rise in clients.

"To have the support from the legislator just shows that they are supporting us while we do this tough job so that we can be on the front lines and helping our victims,” Williams said.

Senate Bill 2039 will allow the attorney general to have access to a revolving fund.

It'll provide statewide access to programs and services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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