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Proposed domestic violence bill may pose unique conflicts

In an ideal world, people who love each other would never become angry enough to become violent with each other. In reality, domestic violence is a problem throughout the country, and advocates in Wisconsin are constantly looking for ways to better protect those who are caught in these violent situations. In voting for new legislation regarding family violence, lawmakers may walk a fine line between the protection and the violation of the rights of both parties. Each new piece of legislation may need to be approached from both sides of the issue in order to protect the rights of all involved.

Opponents of a bill in North Carolina feel that the proposed law would do little to fix the domestic violence problem, while those who support the bill feel it would help to save lives that are lost from domestic violence. The bill would require any person listed on a domestic violence order to wear a GPS monitoring system that alerted authorities whenever a restricted area is entered.

Committee members claim they like the idea behind the bill, but worry about the costs and the fact that domestic violence orders aren’t the result of a criminal trial, and therefore the accused have not been convicted of a crime.  Some states have solved this problem by starting monitoring after an initial order is violated.

Although this bill may help prevent some incidences of violence in the home, it is very important to consider the rights of someone who has been accused of domestic violence. A person is considered innocent until proven guilty, laws may need to be written to protect the rights of those who haven’t had a chance to tell their side of the story.

Source: WRAL, “Domestic violence monitoring bill faces cost, constitutional questions,” Mark Binker, June 18, 2013

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