STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill that offers more protection for victims of domestic violence passed the legislature last week.
Senate Bill 1266 included Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema’s amendments that classify strangulation and suffocation as aggravated assault, subject to a Class 4 felony, and allow the court to grant custody of an animal to a petitioner of an order of protection.
“I was happy to work in a bipartisan way to protect victims of domestic violence in Arizona,” Sinema said. “This bill offers law enforcement and prosecutors another tool to ensure the safety of Arizonans and provides a harsher penalty to violent offenders.”
The bill added the following to the definition of domestic violence:
First and second degree murder
Intentionally or knowingly subjecting an animal in the person’s care or control to cruel neglect or abandonment that results in serious physical injury to the animal
Intentionally or knowingly subjecting an animal to cruel mistreatment
Intentionally preventing or interfering with the use of a telephone by another person in an emergency
Sinema has been working to pass these provisions for several years, and the bill awaits the governor’s signature.