Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, has penned a terrific guest editorial about the domestic violence bill he's sponsoring in the State House. The piece, which appears in the Arlington Times and elsewhere, does a great job of outlining the problem:
"Domestic violence is one of the most heinous crimes because it has a psychological element that can paralyze victims. Oftentimes domestic abusers live in, or have keys to, their victims’ homes. The abuser may also have close relationships with family, friends and co-workers of their victim, which can leave the victim fearful and with nowhere to turn. Repeat batterers can escalate with each reporting of abuse to law enforcement and become even more dangerous."
Rep. Pearson goes on to explain what he's doing about the problem:
"That is why I am sponsoring legislation along with Attorney General Rob McKenna to make the penalties for repeat domestic abusers tougher. The bill, if passed in the 2010 legislative session, would...represent the most significant updates to our domestic violence protections since the Domestic Violence Prevention Act first became law some 25 years ago; Give chronic domestic abusers the sentences they truly deserve by ramping up the consequences of being a repeat abuser; Require judges to factor in the lower-level prior domestic violence histories of the worst batterers; and Count prior domestic violence offenses more heavily when it comes to sentencing."