Female senators push FBI on stalking, domestic violence

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The FBI is coming under pressure from a bipartisan pair of female senators to collect more information on domestic violence and stalking crimes.

{mosads}”The seriousness and devastating effects of these crimes, as well as the propensity for repeat victimization, expose a dangerous gap in the FBI’s crime data collection programs,” Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) wrote in a letter sent Monday to FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The FBI collects crime data on everything “from homicide to loitering,” the senators wrote, “but no data are collected on stalking and very limited data are collected on domestic violence.”

This crime data could help drive the gun debate as Democratic lawmakers push for more restrictions on people who have been convicted of domestic violence or stalking.

According to the senators, 1 in 4 women suffer from domestic violence and 1 in 6 women are victimized by stalkers.

“The FBI is already authorized by law to collect data on new crimes without congressional approval, and it has already done so multiple times,” the senators wrote.

“For example, in January 2016, the FBI began collecting crime data on animal cruelty, with the justification that animal cruelty is an early indicator of violent crime,” they added.

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