LANSING — State Representative Robert Kosowski (D-Westland), the House Democratic Whip, took part in a press conference Thursday afternoon in the Capitol to announce legislation to better protect victims of domestic violence. The bipartisan, six-bill package will help victims of partner violence and their families stay safe. Kosowski’s bill would allow victims to add a companion animal to a personal protection order (PPO) against an abuser.

“Domestic abuse is about control, and sadly, abusers often use the threat of violence against an animal to try to control their victims,” Kosowski said. “Allowing PPOs to include animals will make it easier for victims to leave abusive situations and keep themselves and their pets safe.”

Other bills in the package, listed with their sponsor, would:

  • Rep. Harvey Santana (D-Detroit): Require consent from both parties in a domestic violence case to agree to mediation before a judge could order it
  • Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township): Maintain victim confidentiality at the appellate court level
  • Rep. Amanda Price (R-Park Township): Add pregnant victims to the domestic violence statute
  • Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth): Provide an exemption, in child custody cases, for a close and continuing parent-child relationship when domestic violence is present
  • Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R-Alto): Allow “clear and convincing evidence” as a standard for terminating parental rights following a sexual assault