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Legislature passes pilot program on domestic violence forensic medical examinations

The North Dakota Legislature has approved a domestic violence forensic medical examination grant program.

The grants would go to community-based or hospital-based violence examiner programs.

Rep. Donna Henderson (R-Calvin) told the House this would include expert forensic photography of all injuries, as well as documentation of those injuries, and the collection of DNA evidence.

"The victim would also participate in a detailed interview process, where they often times would feel more comfortable revealing their circumstances to a medical provider than to law enforcement," Henderson said. "This would also improve law enforcement''s ability to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, by being able to gather time-sensitive, objective data and evidence, along with expert testimony, to be admissible in court."

The appropriation for the program is $250,000.

SB 2202 passed unanimously – and is now on its way to Gov. Burgum’s desk.

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