New domestic violence law works to save lives

Tara Woodlee and her daughter Ashleigh Lindsey
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There's a new domestic violence law in Oklahoma called the Lethality Assessment Protocol. On Tuesday Bryan County law enforcement held a training class to make sure officers know the questions to ask, that they say could save a victim's life.

For some people, they hope the new law spares others the pain domestic violence has brought to their families. "My daughter Ashleigh Lindsey was murdered in Oklahoma two years ago on July 13, 2012," Tara Woodlee says.

Woodlee says her nightmare began that day when her daughter Ashleigh Lindsey, who was pregnant at the time, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in a Kingston, Okla. home.

She hopes that a new Oklahoma law will save other families the same pain she's experienced every day since then.

"It's a stepping stone to prevent homicides from happening - like my daughter's," Woodlee says.

As of Nov. 1, all police responding to anything from a domestic argument to domestic abuse have a new structured set of questions they are required - by law - to ask the victim.

These 11 questions are called the Lethality Assessment Questions and they're geared toward identifying the victims who are in the most danger.

"Some of the questions obviously deal with the demeanor of the perpetrator," Calera Police Chief Don Hyde said. "Has he threatened in a certain way?"

"Do you think this person will kill you?"
"Does this person try to control your daily activities?"
These are other questions law enforcement will now ask victims before urging them to contact their local crisis center.

In Durant, the Crisis Control Center offers shelter, counseling and outlets for victims who want to safely leave a potentially dangerous relationship.

"This is a wonderful start to decreasing lethality in the state of Oklahoma," Crisis Control advocate Anna Marcy said. "Oklahoma ranks third in the nation for women killed by men."

The new law went into effect on Saturday. If you know someone who might be affected by domestic violence, click on the links to get more information.