The Criminal Justice Institute has been asked to create a resource page on our website to provide information to law enforcement on Laura's Law and Laura's Card. We will continue to update this page as information is sent to us. Please refer back to this page for any updates.
If you have any questions or need clarification on the domestic violence elements of Laura's Card or the lethality assessments, please contact the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence at (501) 907-5612 or (800) 269-4668. Please contact the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault at (866) 632-2272 (toll free number) or (501) 246-3276 (local number) if you have any sexual assault-related questions. Additional resources can be found at www.acasa.us.
Laura's Law (Lethality Assessment)
The recently enacted "Laura's Law" requires Arkansas police officers responding to domestic violence incidents to ask victims a set of questions to evaluate their risk of being killed by abuse, such as whether the offender has ever used a weapon against the victim or controls most of the victim's daily activities. The assessment aims to help identify victims in severe danger needing intervention. Police will also present victims with a "Laura's Card," a document listing their rights and contact information for local prosecutors and shelters.
Law enforcement agencies responding to crime incidents are now required to inform victims in writing of their victim's rights. Officers MUST inform victims of the availability of services: medical, housing, counseling, financial, social, legal, and emergency services. In addition, officers MUST inform victims about how to obtain orders of protection, how to access public records related to the case, and about the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board (including the address and phone number).
Laura's Law is named after three women affected by domestic violence. They include Laura Aceves, a Eureka Springs woman who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2012, and her mother, Laura Ponce, who has since become an advocate for domestic violence victims. The bill and the name of "Laura's Card" were also inspired by victims' rights advocate and domestic violence survivor Laura Webb, who was nearly killed by her husband in 2012.
• To provide crime victims their rights afforded to them by Arkansas’ Victim’s Bill of Rights outlined in Arkansas Victim Rights Act of 1997 and Laura's Card Act 873
• To provide state wide consistency of information concerning victim’s rights provided to victims’ of crime.
• To provide victim rights and information in a clear and concise manner in order to empower victims to make decisions about their safety
Law enforcement agencies responding to crime incidents are required to inform victims in writing of their victim’s rights. Officers MUST inform victims of the availability of services: medical, housing, counseling, financial, social, legal, and emergency services. In addition, officers MUST inform victims about how to obtain orders of protection, how to access public records related to the case, and about the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board (including the address and phone number).
• Links to the Arkansas Crime Information Center which contains Arkansas’ Victims’ Bill of Rights and Crime Victims’ Guide to the Arkansas Judicial System.
• Information concerning legal aid and printable protective orders.
• Links to Vine Link notification system.
• Information and a link to the Arkansas Crime Victim’s Reparation Program.
• Links to government agencies where more detailed information on victims’ rights and resources are located
• Space provided for local victims’ services information including available medical, housing, counseling, financial, social, legal, and emergency services
A PDF format is available to law enforcement agencies. A copy or link of Laura’s Card is to be placed on all law enforcement agencies websites and social media in a prominent and obvious manner on the agency home page.
First responders, law enforcement agencies, local service providers, State Park Rangers, School Security and SRO's and Health Providers all prove a critical part of the healing journey for victims of crime. Laura’s Card complies with the legal requirements. Using information and services listed, victims will be empowered to move from helplessness to hopefulness.
Downloads: (Download Adobe Acrobat Reader here if needed.)