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Lawmaker seeks to strengthen Maryland’s domestic violence law

On March 9, Maryland legislators held a hearing on a domestic violence bill that would amend the definition of domestic violence to include malicious destruction of property and harassment. Discussion of the bill, House Bill 1396, followed seven murders related to domestic violence in Prince George’s County alone this year.

The bill, which has received a considerable amount of support from members of the General Assembly, was introduced last month by a lawmaker from Prince George’s County. She says that her own experience of being harassed by her estranged spouse prompted her to propose the bill. She notes that her husband’s actions are not currently covered under Maryland’s domestic violence laws.

Just a day before the hearing took place, two women in Cheverley, Maryland, were killed by a man who then when on to commit suicide. The Prince George’s County’s state’s attorney says that the man had been arrested just last month. However, she says that one of the women not only refused to cooperate with authorities, but bailed him out of jail.

The state delegate who is behind the proposed legislation says that Maryland law has a “broad, unexplained, illogical exception that says it’s okay to torment, and harass and intimidate someone if you have a domestic relationship. And abusers are using this to manipulate and control their victims.”

If you are being harassed or threatened by someone, it’s essential to take whatever legal steps you can to protect yourself and your family. A Maryland attorney can help work to get a protective order and take whatever recourse is possible.

Source: Fox 5, “Hearing held on Md. domestic violence bill,” Paul Wagner, March 09, 2016

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