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Bill becomes law, protects kids

<i>Submitted photo</i>

River Falls police Investigator Chuck Golden and his family look on as Gov. Scott Walker signs into law a bill Golden initiated. Last week Walker visited Eau Claire, where he signed a law that requires judges sentencing an offender to consider it an aggravating factor if an act of domestic violence was committed in the presence of a child. "Witnessing a violent act, particularly among family members, can do serious short- and long-term damage to a child," Walker said. "This bill ensures that offenders will be held accountable for the effect their actions have on children." Golden suggested the bill to Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) after he was called to a home in which an infant girl's arm was broken during a struggle between her parents. "This new law now recognizes (children) as victims of domestic violence when the abuse is committed in their presence," said Golden. "Children have all too often gone unnoticed by our justice system when it comes to domestic violence. This law now gives them a voice." Shown standing immediately behind the governor are, left to right, Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva); Mary, Mason, Benjamin and William Golden; Harsdorf; and Chuck Golden.