This update reduces the categories of people eligible to be charged with domestic violence in Oklahoma. Previously, if you committed an assault and battery against anyone you were related with “by blood or marriage,” you would have been committing an act of domestic violence. The biggest change in this statute narrows the definition of by eliminating that extremely broad category of people. This law also mandates participation in a batterer’s intervention program for anyone on a deferred or suspended sentence.
Oklahoma’s Current Definition of Domestic Violence
You commit an act of domestic violence in Oklahoma if you commit an assault and battery against a current or former:
- intimate partner or
- family or household member
“Intimate partner” means:
- current or former spouses,
- people who are or were in a dating relationship,
- people who are the biological parents of the same child, regardless of their marital status or whether they have lived together at any time, and
- people who currently or formerly lived together in an intimate way, primarily characterized by affectionate or sexual involvement. A sexual relationship may be an indicator that a person is an intimate partner, but is never a necessary condition.
“Family or household members” are:
- parents, including grandparents, stepparents, adoptive parents and foster parents,
- children, including grandchildren, stepchildren, adopted children, and foster children, and
- people otherwise related by blood or marriage living in the same household.
This is not a huge change. The only people this really excludes are siblings, cousins, and aunts/uncles/nephews/nieces who have never lived together. It was silly to consider a fight between two distant relatives “domestic violence” just because they technically had a blood relation or relation by marriage. This new definition also excludes anyone and everyone who ever once lived together. So, roomates who aren’t related, didn’t have sex with each other, and no longer live together are also not eligible for domestic violence charges.
Batterers’ Intervention Program Required
Domestic violence charges now require that anyone on probation complete an assessment and follow the recommendations of a batterers’ intervention program. Counseling only is no longer permitted.
“Dating relationship” means intimate association, primarily characterized by affectionate or sexual involvement. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context doesn’t constitute a dating relationship.
“Victim support person” means a person affiliated with a domestic violence, sexual assault, or adult human sex trafficking program, certified by the Attorney General or operating under a tribal government, who provides support and assistance for a person who files a petition under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act.
“Domestic abuse” means any act of physical harm, or the threat of imminent physical harm that is committed by an adult, emancipated minor, or minor child 13 years old or older against another adult, emancipated minor, or minor child who is currently or was previously an intimate partner or family or household member.
HB 2630 amended 21 O.S. § 644 and 22 O.S. § 60.1. It went into effect on November 1, 2019
Current as of February 24, 2020. Note: laws are subject to change at any time! Visit the linked statutes for the most accurate law.