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Lawmakers in one state seek wider database for protective orders

Entering into a new relationship can be an exciting time for new couples. Unfortunately, some relationships can end in victims of violence or threats seeking protective orders against a partner whom they now fear. Like every state, Colorado has laws in place that are intended to provide protection for those who are vulnerable in potentially violent relationships.

However, recently, lawmakers in one state determined that there may be a need for even more protections for potential victims of domestic abuse. After a woman was shot to death by a former boyfriend, a legislator, who was campaigning for re-election, visited the father of the deceased victim. As the conversation progressed, the grieving parent lamented that none of the family was aware that the perpetrator had an alleged history of violent behavior towards others.

The lawmaker then drafted and submitted a proposed law that would create a state-wide registry that would list every subject of a court-granted protective order. It would include the dates and duration of the orders. While every district has searchable records, there was not one listing that covered the entire state. There are two bills in both the Texas state house and Senate that will be considered within the next few weeks, and they include the provision of a more detailed listing for law enforcement.

The victim's father stated that his daughter likely would have left the relationship early on if she or other family members had known about the man's potentially lethal violent past. There are a few other states that have employed the use of similar registries in an effort to make this information more readily assessable. Colorado residents who are in danger of becoming or have been the victims of domestic abuse or other threatening behaviors can seek the guidance of a family law attorney who can provide information and assistance in obtaining protective orders that may enable one to remain safe from violence in abusive relationships.

Source:, ""Monica's Law" seeks protective order registry", Corey Paul, March 16, 2017

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