Today, the governor signed into law Senate Bill 5070, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), to make permanent the reimbursement for the Crime Victims Compensation Program for survivors of strangulation. Legislation establishing this reimbursement first passed unanimously in 2021.
“In the midst of horrific circumstances, survivors are telling us that this program benefits them immensely,” said Nobles. “By making it permanent, we’re telling survivors they deserve access to treatment and justice.”
According to the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, 68% of women who report domestic violence suffered near-fatal strangulation. Forensic examinations are the best resource to hold abusers accountable, but they can cost upwards of $1,400. The Crime Victims Compensation Program has played a crucial role in ensuring that survivors of nonfatal strangulation receive appropriate treatment and that perpetrators are held responsible.
Strangulation involves external compression of a survivors’ airway and blood vessels, causing reduced air and blood flow to the brain. There may be minimal or no external signs of injury despite life-threatening internal injuries, including traumatic brain injury. Injuries may present after the assault or much later and may persist for months and even years post-assault. Survivors who are strangled multiple times face a greater risk of traumatic brain injury.
The Crime Victims Compensation Program was created to help victims with the many costs associated with violent crime. The program provides financial compensation to crime victims for such expenses as medical bills, loss of financial support, and funeral expenses. The pilot program for the reimbursement was originally set to end June 30, 2023. This legislation makes the reimbursement for survivors permanent.
The legislation passed unanimously in both the Senate and House. The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect on June 30.