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North Carolina, Kayla's Act: Protecting Domestic Violence Victims
Kayla's Act: Protecting Domestic Violence Victims (SB 51), adopted by the Senate in March 2023, was written because of a domestic violence murder.  Kayla Hammonds, a tribal member from Lumberton, was fatally stabbed by an ex-boyfriend in front of her two small children in a local grocery store.  Before her death, Hammonds had been granted two orders of protection, and made several posts on social media indicating that she feared for her life.  SB 51 allows an out-of-court statement at trial when a witness is unavailable to testify, and the opposing party caused the witness to be unavailable; increases the statute of limitations for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence from two years to 10 years; authorizes remote testimony by domestic violence victims if the court makes certain findings about the witness domestic; and requires that all district court trials and proceedings held pursuant to Chapter 50B (domestic violence protective orders) be video recorded. It is imperative that GFWC members act and urge our legislators in the North Carolina House of Representatives to enact the bill passed by the Senate last year.
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