Indiana domestic violence law addresses phone plans, pets

A new Indiana law hopes to help those affected by domestic violence leave abusive relationships.

The law allows judges to approve the transfer of phone plans over to domestic violence victims without the account holder’s consent.

“[It] offers the opportunity to…keep all of those things that are dear to the victim in their hands, meaning, phone contacts, email addresses, things like that that you would have contained in your cell phone,” Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville explains.

McNamara tells News Now Warsaw the bill hopes to prevent abusers from using phones as leverage against their partners.

“Its just another tool for victims of domestic violence to use to separate themselves from their abusers,” she says. “They assume full financial responsibility for the plan, and the biggest part is giving them the freedom to walk away.”

McNamara says its important for victims of domestic violence to have a support system.

“This bill will allow the opportunity for victims of domestic violence to take their phones with them so they can have their contacts and their support systems available to help them in their times of need. It also prevents the abuser from being able to track them,” she shares.

She says the bill aims to allow domestic violence survivors to make a “clean break” from their abusers. It also allows pets to be included in protective orders for domestic violence.

The law will go into effect July 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.