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March 06, 2014 05:12 AM

SD House Endorses Broadening Domestic Abuse Laws

pierre, sd

The South Dakota House has approved a measure that would expand the state's domestic abuse laws to cover couples who are dating but don't live together.

Representatives voted 56-14 to pass the bill, which has already been approved by the Senate. The Senate now will decide whether to accept a minor change made by the House.

Current law defines domestic abuse as harm, the attempted harm or the infliction of fear committed by family or household members against spouses, former spouses, some relatives, people who live or have lived in the same household or people who have a child together.

The bill would broaden coverage to people who are in a significant romantic relationship with each other.

The Legislature has failed in recent years to pass similar measures.

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