Bill aims to help victims of domestic violence gain freedom from their abuser

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – A bill moving through the state legislature drew emotional testimony in the House Judiciary Committee Friday. 

It would help victims of domestic violence gain freedom from their abuser. Domestic violence victims say they need separation from their attackers and state legislators agreed.

The committee unanimously passed House Bill 160 that would allow victims to switch off shared cell phone accounts by requesting a court order.

Victims say it’s necessary for privacy during these sometimes-life-threatening situations. When a plan is shared, abusers can get access to call logs, texts, even GPS locations.

During the hearing, domestic abuse survivors testified in support of the bill. Heather Wolsey is a survivor of domestic violence at the hand of her ex-husband. She testified that when she tried to escape a kidnapping, she says her abuse tracked her phone’s GPS and blocked help.

“Just being able to track people, he was able to get all of my texts, my calls, those are very dangerous things because if the abuser knows where you are, most likely they are going to come after you. There are so many ways it can be abused and so many things that this bill takes care of and cleans up,” said Wolsey.

The bill is now off to the House for consideration. Similar legislation has been passed in other states.

If you or someone you know is in a dangerous, domestic situation there is free and confidential help. Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or at udvc.org
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately

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