LITTLE ROCK — Several state legislators and advocates for domestic abuse victims discussed legislation they would like to see enacted in the upcoming session during a rally for domestic peace at the state Capitol on Tuesday.

LITTLE ROCK — Several state legislators and advocates for domestic abuse victims discussed legislation they would like to see enacted in the upcoming session during a rally for domestic peace at the state Capitol on Tuesday.


That legislation includes a measure to create a registry of domestic violence offenders, according to Rep. Charlotte Douglas, R-Alma, one of the organizers of the event.


"We would be one of the first states to pass it if we pass it this next session," said Douglas, who wore a purple scarf in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


She added that "we’re also looking at issues with insurance, alimony, prosecution-based evidence-taking by police, some extra training and several other things."


Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, said she will be looking at introducing education programs on domestic violence into public schools and increasing the response time of the state’s hotline for reporting child abuse and neglect.


Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, another organizer of the rally, said he is looking at creating a standard assessment for first-time victims of domestic abuse and establishing new funding sources for domestic violence programs.


"One of the things that I’d like to see happen is rather than the taxpayers foot a lot of this bill, have some penalties put on perpetrators," he said. "Let them pay for the burden that they’re putting on not only the victim but on the community as well."


Sen. Hank Wilkins, D-Pine Bluff, who will not take part in the next session because he is term-limited, said he sometimes has felt like "a voice crying in the wilderness" when he has talked about domestic violence.


"But it appears to me now that there is going to be more and more support for this cause, and even as I leave the Legislature, I want those who are carrying the banner forward to know that I will be out there cheering for you and praying for you as well," he said.


Laura Webb of Little Rock, a domestic violence survivor, said domestic violence websites should use multiple languages, not just English, and said help should be extended to victims who may be in the country illegally.


Ken Wade, executive director of the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, discussed a smartphone application the coalition has launched, iHope, which provides safety tools and information on available resources for victims of domestic violence.


Abby Lindsey, a Ouachita Baptist University senior from Van Buren, sang a song and spoke about Internet safety, which she chose as her platform as Miss OBU.