Domestic violence has long been a serious problem in the state of Maryland and throughout the United States. One Maryland delegate is a survivor and believes, along with scores of other victims, that lives are being destroyed each day because the word “abuse” as defined by law is not definitive or strong enough. The Maryland delegate was lucky enough to escape from her violent marriage, but the abuse did not stop there. Her former husband called, emailed, and texted her, her friends, and her family. When the delegate went to court to explain the abuse happening to her, the judge told her there was nothing he was able to legally do because none of what those behaviors was considered to be domestic abuse in the law’s definition of the word.
Unfortunately, many other women are experiencing the same difficulties as the Maryland delegate. For the family of a young woman who was killed along with her two-year-old daughter at the hands of domestic violence, they too are angry over the inability of the law to protect their daughter and granddaughter. As the frustration continued to mount for both the Maryland delegate and the bereaving parents and grandparents, they both did the only thing they believed could yield change – they attempted to change the law.
The Maryland delegate, Angela Angel, who represents Prince George’s County, introduced bill HB1396, but just like the year preceding it, the bill died in committee. So, instead of offering another bill, the Del. Angel successfully attempted to amend a senator’s bill. Likewise, the aforementioned family of the deceased woman and child also created an anti-domestic violence bill. The sole focus of the bill is to setup a task force to determine how money will be used, where money should be spent, and how laws should be changed to protect victims.
The state legislature closed on April 11, 2016 so in order to have any momentum next session, both women will need to keep their support, emotion, and followers strong. Del. Angel has had some success, however, when she introduced an amendment to SB 024 to include the malicious destruction of property in the definition of “abuse.” The bill passed, but like all bills and like the bill introduced by the family who lost their daughter and granddaughter, it will have to be approved by the Maryland State Senate.
Towson Domestic Violence Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles Zealously Advocate for and Represent Victims of Domestic Abuse
If you, a loved one or someone you know has been abused or threatened, contact Huesman, Jones & Miles to speak to one of our experienced Towson domestic violence lawyers. Call us at 443-589-0150 to schedule a confidential consultation or contact us online.