Iowa legislators will consider expanding the state’s domestic-abuse laws to couples who are dating but not living together. Representative David Millage, a republican from Bettendorf, says today, the law only covers couples that are married, living together or have a child together.He says clerks of court report they’re turning away many women who ask for domestic-abuse protection but can’t get it because they’re not living with or married to the man harassing them. Millage says the proposed bill let dating partners get a no-contact order, but doesn’t call for arresting an alleged abuser, which is mandated in other situations.When a sheriff comes to a domestic-abuse scene, he’s required to arrest the accused abuser to remove them from the home, but Millage says an arrest isn’t necessary if they don’t live there. Representative Dan Boddicker, a republican from Tipton, says any expansion of domestic-abuse laws would be bad news for the innocent.He says he’s not against protection for the abused, but he says these kind of laws are used to harass people. Boddicker says passing the bill would let even more people use the court system to falsely punish someone when a relationship ends. But the House Judiciary committee approved the measure, 16-to-one, and it now goes to the full house for debate.
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