Texas residents are likely familiar with Mary’s Law, which was passed five years ago. In those five years, funding issues have made it difficult to enforce the bill.
Mary’s Law makes it possible for judges to assign alleged abusers GPS devices that alert victims if the person is near them. Sadly, the funding issues haven’t made it possible to keep up with the bill.
Bill 1812 seeks to establish a grant program on the state level that would make it easier to allow Mary’s Law to work as it should. The Costal Bend community, which had multiple homicides at the end of last year, is a reminder of why Mary’s Law is important.
For victims of domestic violence, this bill could mean an added safety measure. It would provide money for victims who are frightened and potentially in danger to have access to the notification service when they leave their abuser.
These women and men are often scared that the person who they say was being abusive might try to continue that reign of terror after they leave. The fear doesn’t abate just because the victim gathered up the courage to leave the abusive situation. Even with protective orders, there is still a chance that violence will occur.
It is still unclear how the bill will progress through the legislature. It recently went through the first reading. The one thing that is certain is that if it passes, this bill could mean another layer of protection for abuse victims and children who have lived in fear long enough.
Source: KRISTV.com, “New Bill 1812 to help against domestic violence,” March. 16, 2015