Arizona: Romantic and Sexual Relationships Now Included in Domestic Violence Law
Thursday, July 23, 2009 2:24 PM

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed Kaity’s Law, SB 1088, in early July 2009. Kaity's Law includes romantic and sexual relationships in Arizona’s definition of domestic violence. The law is named after Kaity Sudberry, who went to the police with her parents when she was 17 years old to get a protection order against her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Byrd. Kaity could only get an injunction against harassment because Arizona’s restricted definition of domestic violence did not include dating relationships. An injunction against harassment is a much weaker document than an order for protection. Five days after Kaity went to the police, she was killed by Byrd, who then killed himself.


Kaity was not able to get an order for protection because at that time, Arizona only issued them to people who were married, had a child together, or were blood relatives. Kaity’s Law now allows people who are in romantic or sexual relationships to obtain orders for protection. The Arizona Republic reported that the law also provides law enforcement officers with the ability to temporarily confiscate guns from perpetrators if the victim or someone in their household is in danger of severe injury or death.


Compiled from: In the News, Family Violence Prevention Fund, 21 July 2009.