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House holds hearing on domestic violence, sexual assault

January 28, 2010
  • Peggy Brown testified that more needs to be done about future victims and future perpetrators. (Daniel Hernandez/KTUU-DT)
Peggy Brown testified that more needs to be done about future victims and future perpetrators. (Daniel Hernandez/KTUU-DT)

by Ted Land
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

JUNEAU, Alaska -- There's been a lot of talk in the halls of the State Capitol about how to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska.

Lawmakers are starting to hear testimony on how the effort might actually create more work for the state.

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday.

The effort to end abuse is taking shape in committee rooms like this one. 

There are five pieces of House legislation in the works. Two were considered Wednesday.

House Bill 298 would require sex offenders in other states to register in Alaska if they ever move here. It also would make it a crime to view child pornography online.

House Bill 307 deals with stalking and grants protection to victims.

"You have people addressing the perpetrators and you have people addressing the victims. What we do not have are those efforts that are addressing future perpetrators, future victims," said Peggy Brown, who testified before the committee.

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The goal is to convince victims to come forward and prosecute those committing the crimes.

"We're going to see more of a dramatic need for arrests, for convictions, for district attorneys, for public defenders, courtrooms, the Department of Corrections, incarceration," said Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks.

In other words, more work for law enforcement.

"Today if we get more reports we're going to have to have more resources to deal with those," said Joe Masters with the Department of Public Safety.

The Department of Public Safety says it's in a position, fiscally, where it can expand if need be.

The stalking bill now heads to the house floor for a vote.

The bill on child pornography is being amended and will go before the House Judiciary Committee again on Monday.

Contact Ted Land at tland@ktuu.com

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