Dating relationship;

Amends definition of family or household member to include
persons with a dating history.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     A BILL FOR AN ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that domestic violence
 2 among teenagers is one of the fastest growing types of domestic
 3 abuse in the nation.  It is estimated that as many as one-third
 4 of all high school and college age individuals may now experience
 5 some form of violence in an intimate or dating relationship.  The
 6 legislature further finds that teens often fail to recognize that
 7 they are the victims of emotional and verbal abuse, which in many
 8 cases are the precursors to physical violence.  Even when they
 9 understand what is happening, teenagers are reluctant to come
10 forward to ask for the necessary help and support from trained
11 professionals.
12      In addition, the legislature realizes that abusers who
13 clearly have a relationship with their victims, but have not
14 resided with them, escape the penalties of section 709-906, Abuse
15 of Family and Household Member, and may only be prosecuted under
16 section 707-712, Assault in the third degree.  Although both are
17 misdemeanors, the sentencing guidelines for Abuse of Family and
18 Household Member are more severe, including mandatory jail time.

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                                     S.B. NO.           599

 1 However, the legislature recognizes that it is the dynamics of
 2 the relationship, and not the physical living situation, that is
 3 the controlling factor in responding to domestic violence
 4 disputes.
 5      The legislature believes that holding abusers accountable
 6 for their actions is the key to keeping domestic violence victims
 7 safe.  Thus, the purpose of this bill is to expand the scope of
 8 the current statutory definition of Family and Household Member
 9 to include persons involved in a dating relationship, which will
10 cast a broader net in determining who is affected by and in need
11 of protection from domestic abuse.
12      SECTION 2.  Section 586-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
13 amended by amending the definition of "Family or household
14 member" to read as follows:
15      ""Family or household member" means spouses or reciprocal
16 beneficiaries, former spouses or former reciprocal beneficiaries,
17 persons who have a child in common, parents, children, persons
18 related by consanguinity, [and] persons jointly residing or
19 formerly residing in the same dwelling unit[.], and persons who
20 have or have had a dating relationship regardless of whether they
21 have lived together at any time.  For the purposes of this
22 paragraph, neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary
23 fraternization between two individuals in a business or social
24 context shall be deemed to constitute a dating relationship."

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                                     S.B. NO.           599

 1      SECTION 3.  Section 709-906, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended by amending subsection (1) to read as follows:
 3      "(1)  It shall be unlawful for any person, singly or in
 4 concert, to physically abuse a family or household member or to
 5 refuse compliance with the lawful order of a police officer under
 6 subsection (4).  The police, in investigating any complaint of
 7 abuse of a family or household member, upon request, may
 8 transport the abused person to a hospital or safe shelter.
 9      For the purposes of this section, "family or household
10 member" means spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries, former spouses
11 or reciprocal beneficiaries, persons who have a child in common,
12 parents, children, persons related by consanguinity, [and]
13 persons jointly residing or formerly residing in the same
14 dwelling unit[.], and persons who have or have had a dating
15 relationship regardless of whether they have lived together at
16 any time.  For the purposes of this paragraph, neither a casual
17 acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals
18 in business or social context shall be deemed to constitute a
19 dating relationship."

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                                     S.B. NO.           599

 1      SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 2 New statutory material is underscored.
 3      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 6                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________