Dear Domestic Violence Prevention Advocates and Friends,
Currently in Maine there is no crime of Domestic Violence. Existing crimes used to prosecute Domestic Violence are prosecuted on a case by case basis without regard to the patterned, behaviors perpetrators use to maintain a power and control dynamic, thus as these criminal acts become serialized there is no avenue to elevate the conviction to a more severe penalty.
To address this problem the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, with Legislative sponsor Senate President Beth Edmonds, has introduced the bill, LD 1627, An Act to Protect Families and Enhance Public Safety by Making Domestic Violence a Crime. This bill will provide the opportunity to seek felony charges for certain criminal offenses against a person who is a family or household member, and an elevated category if the person has certain past convictions of a qualifying protection order issued against them.
LD 1627 will not take away the discretionary power of the district attorney. The crime may be charged as domestic violence or could be charged and prosecuted as a straight assault, allowing for prosecutorial discretion and the opportunity to look at each case individually and prosecute accurately and fairly.
The time has come to make Domestic Violence a Crime in Maine! With your assistance I believe, together, we can send a strong statement to our Legislature stating that the people of Maine want LD 1627, An Act to Protect Families and Enhance Public Safety by Making Domestic Violence a Crime passed into law!
In an effort to encourage the passage of this bill, I am sending you this i-petition for signatures with a request that you send it to your friends, family and membership lists (feel free to change the heading if sending it to your lists). When signing the petition please include the town in which you live. Please help us collect 500 signatures in 2 weeks.
Thanks for your support. Gretchen
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