House approves domestic violence bill on phone plans, pets

The Indiana House has approved a bill enabling domestic violence victims to retain their phone numbers and to protect pets when they leave an abusive relationship.

The House voted 95-0 Monday to approve the measure. It returns now to the Senate to approve changes.

Republican Sen. Erin Houchin’s measure gives victims a way to leave an abuser’s phone plan so that they can keep their phone number and ties to support systems. The Salem lawmaker said current ways to change or leave a plan are limited.

The bill also would let victims include animals in protective orders and mandate an abuser cannot harm or hide the pet. Democratic Rep. Linda Lawson of Hammond says hurting pets is sometimes a way that abusers exert dominance and control over a family.

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