Senator Chang Enhances Protection for Domestic Violence Survivors

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today legislation to expand protections for survivors of domestic violence, coauthored by Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), was signed into law. Senate Bill 1141 expands the definition of domestic violence in the law to include threatening force or intimidation, depravation of basic needs, and coercive control.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen horrifying spikes in domestic violence during this pandemic,” said Senator Ling Ling Chang. “Like COVID-19, domestic abuse isn’t always visible or limited to physical violence and it’s time we updated the law to reflect that reality. I’m pleased the governor signed this crucial piece of legislation that provides much needed legal tools for survivors.”

Senate Bill 1141 would add “coercive control” to domestic violence law. Examples of coercive control include: Isolating the victim from friends, relatives, or other support; depriving the victim of basic necessities; controlling the victim’s communications, daily behavior, finances, economic resources, and many other behaviors that cause severe emotional distress. 

Before and during the pandemic, Senator Chang has advocated on behalf of the most vulnerable, authoring SB 1123 to help law enforcement agencies respond to elderly abuse. She also urged the Legislative Audit Committee to approve a comprehensive audit of the California Health and Human Service Agency as it relates to their oversight of Skilled Nursing Facilities.