Preventing a 911 call is illegal under new Oklahoma law

  • Published
  • By Capt. Christy Cruz
  • Family Advocacy officer
Picture the scene: a quiet Midwest military base. A brick home with a nicely manicured lawn. Inside the home is a couple in their tidy living room. The couple begins to argue. The tension builds -- a fist lashes out and one partner is hurt. 

The injured party runs to the kitchen and picks up the phone yelling, "I'm calling the police!" "You're not calling anyone! Give me that phone!" 

A determined hand reaches out and rips the phone from the wall. Now two laws have been broken. Domestic violence is a crime and a new Oklahoma state law makes it illegal to prevent anyone from making an emergency call. 

Section 1211.1 of Title 21 states, "Any person who intentionally interrupts, disrupts, impedes or interferes with an emergency telephone call or intentionally prevents or hinders another person from placing an emergency telephone call shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." 

Conviction under the law can result in imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than $3,000, or both. That fine and jail time is on top of whatever punishment the person receives for the domestic violence itself. 

Domestic violence is a serious problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of families, and while females do sometimes use force against their intimate partners, statistically the vast majority of perpetrators are male, and the violence often starts before the couple is married. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The following information comes from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( 

The following signs often occur before actual abuse and may serve as clues to potential abuse: 

Did they grow up in a violent family? People who grow up in families where they have been abused as children, or where one parent beats the other, have grown up learning that violence is normal behavior. 

Do they tend to use force or violence to "solve" their problems? A young man who has a criminal record for violence, who gets into fights, or who likes to act tough is likely to act the same way with his wife and children. Do they have a quick temper? Do they over-react to little problems and frustration? Are they cruel to animals? Do they punch walls or throw things when they get upset? Any of these behaviors may be a sign of a person who will work out bad feelings with violence. 

Do they abuse alcohol or other drugs? There is a strong link between violence and problems with drugs and alcohol. Be alert to possible drinking/drug problems, particularly if they refuse to admit that they have a problem, or refuse to get help. Do not think that you can change them. 

Do they have strong traditional ideas about what a man should be and what a woman should be? Do they think a woman should stay at home, take care of her husband, and follow his wishes and orders? 

Are they jealous of your other relationships--not just with other men that you may know--but also with your women friends and your family? Do they keep tabs on you? Do they want to know where you are at all times? Do they want you with him all of the time?
Do they have access to guns, knives, or other lethal instruments? Do they talk of using them against people, or threaten to use them to get even? 

Do they expect you to follow their orders or advice? Do they become angry if you do not fulfill their wishes or if you cannot anticipate what they want? 

Do they go through extreme highs and lows, almost as though they were two different people? Are they extremely kind one time, and extremely cruel at another time? 

When they get angry, do you fear them? Do you find that not making them angry has become a major part of your life? Do you do what they want you to do, rather than what you want to do? 

Do they treat you roughly? Do they physically force you to do what you do not want to do? 

The Family Advocacy Program provides help for everyone involved in family maltreatment. It is mandatory for all military and civilian federal employees to report any suspected family maltreatment. To report abuse, call 213-7419. After duty hours, call 911.

Group and individual classes are offered through the Family Advocacy Program including: Stress Management, Healthy Dating Relationships, Infant/Child/Adult CPR, Couples Communication, Infant Communication (Baby Signs), Steps to Increasing Happiness, The Five Love Languages, Coping with Emotions, Individual Therapy, Anger Management and much more. 

For more information, call 213-7419.