LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – To mark the final day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Tuesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that since the unveiling of Laura’s Card in Feb. 2016, there have been 103,800 distributed in both English and Spanish.
“The almost-104,000 cards that have been distributed represent far more than just words on paper,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It brings hope. It reminds men or women living in dangerous situations that God has a better plan for their lives. I am grateful to the sheriffs’ offices, police departments, advocacy groups and shelters that are working hand-in-hand with my office to continue getting Laura’s Cards into the hands of the men and women who need them.”
Laura’s Card was created through legislation sponsored by Rep. Charlotte Douglas (R-Alma) in the 2015 legislative session after many conversations with Laura Webb of Cabot. Webb is a survivor of domestic violence, but when she was victimized she did not know where to turn and voiced her concerns to Rep. Douglas about the need to provide resources to those in abusive situations. Under Act 873, law enforcement officers must provide a resource information card to assist victims of crime and their families.
Laura’s Card includes 24-hour crisis lines, a place for law enforcement and local shelter or service provider to include contact information, a list of victim’s rights, information about the Crime Victims Reparations Board and a website that has been created with links to numerous resources available across the state. The website, LaurasCard.ar.gov, is a clearinghouse of resources for law enforcement, service providers and victims.
In addition to working with Rep. Douglas, Webb and the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Rutledge also received input to help craft Laura’s Card from the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police; Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence; Arkansas Crime Information Center; Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board; Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association; Arkansas State Police; Criminal Justice Institute and the Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator.
In July 2016, Rutledge announced that the Spanish version of the card would also be provided and available online for download.
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