Seeking to strengthen and reform Pennsylvania’s domestic violence laws, a group of Pennsylvania senators today unveiled four bills designed to offer greater protections to victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as hold abusers accountable.
Senators Tom Killion (R-9), Randy Vulakovich (R-38), Tom McGarrigle (R-26) and Camera Bartolotta (R-46) joined representatives of law enforcement and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence at a news conference at the state capitol to outline the reform measures, which were developed with input from district attorneys, domestic violence experts and others who have an interest in improving the judicial system’s ability to protect victims.
“Every day, victims of domestic abuse are seeking protection from abusers. Yet, we continue to experience a senseless loss of life,” Killion said. “These bills are intended to strengthen our Protection From Abuse Act to provide greater safety for victims and communities.”
Last year, Pennsylvania assisted more than 89,000 victims of domestic violence.
The legislation reflects recommendations of the bi-partisan Joint State Government Commission staff study on PFAs in Pennsylvania and is in alignment with PCADV’s priorities of improving the safety of victims and their children, and the community as a whole.
- Senate Bill 501 (Killion) enhancing safety for all parties involved in Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders and convictions of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence that require relinquishment of firearms. WATCH LISTEN
- Senate Bill 500 (Vulakovich) providing that protection would be made available to a victim; and that an individual shall accompany the plaintiff to the plaintiff’s residence before or while the petition and orders are being served, if the plaintiff avers that such assistance is necessary to protect the safety of the plaintiff. WATCH LISTEN
- Senate Bill 502 (McGarrigle) specifying that the court may extend the terms of an existing order or issue a new order in certain circumstances. WATCH LISTEN
- Senate Bill 449 (Bartolotta) Tierne’s Law, clarifying that Magisterial District Judges may, in cases of domestic violence, use a risk assessment tool to determine whether a defendant poses a danger to a victim when determining bail. WATCH LISTEN
CONTACT: Carol Milligan – Senate Republican Communications (717) 787-6725