AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Governor Greg Abott signed a new law yesterday to prevent domestic violence in the state of Texas.
The bill "Monica’s Law” was named after Monica Deming of Odessa who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2015. Her ex-boyfriend had a record of protective orders for domestic violence issued against him.
“I am very thankful to Governor Abbott for his support," said State Representative Brooks Landgraf. "This measure is going to save lives and prevent domestic violence, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.”
The law aims to prevent domestic violence by allowing the public to search for protective orders for domestic violence in Texas.
“Well we’ve had a sex offender registry of sex offenders for years, and it allows the public to know who those people are," said the Randall County Criminal District Attorney Robert Love. "This will do the same for protective orders when dealing with family violence or domestic violence in our state. It will now allow people to check the registry and see if someone that they may have an interest in or have encountered has a past for a protective order in the state of Texas.”
Currently, law enforcement has access to protective orders but can not disclose the information with the public.
“And so when we are working with victims of domestic violence it allows us to be searching out names of individuals," said Kathy Tortoreo, Director of Crisis Services for Family Support Services. "So, if we are working with a victim, we are able to say, ‘Yes this individual has a history,’ or, ‘Yes, this individual has committed domestic violence against one or two or seven or eight different individuals, this is a dangerous individual, can we assist you?’ Just that opportunity to really assist this person and say, ‘Yes, this person you are seeing is dangerous.’”
The signed law will go into effect September 1, 2019.