INDIANAPOLIS — A Region representative's plan for the state to investigate domestic violence deaths and identify similarities or patterns to shape future prevention efforts now is Indiana law.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed House Enrolled Act 1516, sponsored by state Rep. Julie Olthoff, R-Crown Point, establishing a Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee.
The 11-member panel, which can begin meeting on or after July 1, is authorized to confidentially examine medical, law enforcement, mental health and autopsy records following any domestic violence death, or near-death, occurring anywhere in Indiana.
Apart from any criminal proceedings, the committee will determine the factors that contributed to the death, assess whether similar deaths can be prevented, identify agencies and resources available to assist and recommend policy changes, if necessary.
According to the data, 60 deaths per year occur statewide due to domestic violence," Olthoff said. "This widespread epidemic has a huge impact on so many of our fellow Hoosiers."
"This law is one more tool we can use to take a stand against this terrible social issue."
Separately, Holcomb also approved House Enrolled Act 1071 allowing adults holding a civil protection order against an abuser or other individual, to carry a handgun in public without a license for up to 60 days.