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New law aims to identify patterns and recommend strategies to help domestic violence victims

Posted: 11:52 PM, Dec 18, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-19 04:52:18Z

INDIANAPOLIS --  Two women who were presumed victims of domestic violence were killed within days of each other last month in Indianapolis.

"There are predators who are out looking for new victims all the time. They want to control you in every aspect," said Sara Slinker, a survivor of domestic violence.

Slinker confronted her boyfriend about drinking in the fall of 2010.

"I asked him to leave and go to his other apartment in Greenwood. He refused, threw me across the room, and for the next 45 minutes, beat me," said Slinker.

A neighbor called 911 and the man was arrested. Slinker is now sharing her story to help others recognize the signs.

A new state law will also help domestic abuse victims by identifying any patterns or similarities and recommending strategies for prevention.

In addition, the law will give the people assigned to review domestic violence deaths access to more information like autopsy reports and mental health records.

"Being able to get access to maybe a victim's medical records that would show how long was this violence going on, maybe how many times did they visit a hospital where it wasn't identified because there wasn't screening going on. And maybe one of the things we have to do is improve screening for medical professionals for domestic violence," said Caryn Burton, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Local domestic violence fatality review teams can also look at cases beyond those that land in court.

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