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People leaving polygamy closer to crime-victim fund access

File: Utah State Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposal allowing people escaping from polygamy or polygamous communities to receive money from a crime-victims fund is passing another key step at the Legislature.

The measure approved by a Senate panel on Wednesday allows victims of bigamy and related crimes to apply for assistance grants through the Utah Office for Victims of Crime.

The bill makes anyone leaving a polygamous community qualified to apply.

Analysts estimate the fund would pay out about $3,500 a year beginning in 2020.

Supporters say the proposal will help people who escape polygamy with few resources, and often with children to support.

Advocate and former wife Brielle Decker says she could have used the money for therapy after she fled her home.