Bill being pushed to further protect women from stalkers, harassment online
Posted by Associated Press on 12th January 2018
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This post was originally published on WBALTV NEWS

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The Senate is considering legislation to further protect women from stalkers and other forms of harassment.

The bill expands the definition of abuse so it can be included in protective orders. The intent of this legislation is to provide an added layer of protection to victims of domestic violence.

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Revenge porn, telephone misuse and stalking are forms of harassment that will be recognized by a protective order under legislation being pushed by Sen. Bobby Zirkin.

“This is a huge problem,” Zirkin said.

The legislation combines crimes eligible for a peace order with a protective order. A peace order provides relief when a person has problems with someone they are dating, a neighbor or a stranger. A protective order is granted to victims of family domestic violence.

“It’s literally moving the language for a peace order into a protective order. So, individuals who are in domestic violence situations with spouses and people they are living with and so forth, will have the same protections as those who aren’t living together,” Zirkin said.

The bill is considered added protection for victims of domestic violence. Why it didn’t happen sooner is puzzling to the bill’s sponsor. Zirkin said that he is focusing on making sure state law up catches up with technology.

“We are going to have a sharp focus this session on cyber issues. Use of Facebook, YouTube and other technologies used in the same ways are not caught up with where harassment is going right now.

There is no hearing date yet for the bill. The sponsor believes it will quickly reach the governor’s desk.