Republican Bill to Help Victims to Safety Gets Committee Approval

DENVER — Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Senator John Cooke's (R-Greeley) legislation to provide victims of stalking, sex assault, and domestic violence a safe path out of harm's way.

House Bill 17-1035 allows the victims of stalking, sex assault, and domestic violence to break their residential lease without penalty if they no longer feel safe. 

Current law does not provide any recourse for these victims to safely exit a dangerous living situation without repercussions. 

HB 1035 only requires victims produce a police report, restraining order, or letter from a medical professional attesting to the crime in order to create a pathway to safety for victims.

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men experience stalking at some point in their lives. Of those women, 81 percent were also physically abused and 31 percent were sexually assaulted. 

"During my career in law enforcement as a Forensics Crime Investigator and then as Sheriff, violent crimes and sexual crimes against women and children came across my desk far too often," said Cooke. "I've seen these crimes up close and the devastation they cause not only to the women and families but to the community as a whole is often irreparable. It is our moral imperative to take any steps we can to help victims find a path to safety and begin to rebuild their lives after these horrific events."

House Bill 1035 now continues on to a vote of the Committee of the Whole.

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