Public Comments for: HB713 - Family abuse; coercive control, penalty.
I do not support any bills that criminalize folks
Dear House of Delegates Courts of Justice - Subcommittee #1 Members, I would like to request that you support HB 713 (Keam) today. I have already provided personal testimony to each of your email addresses in regard to my own experience with Coercive Control and Family Abuse, but I also wanted to make a few other points as to why this bill is such important legislation that needs to be passed. Coercive control is an act of domestic violence. It is well-known in domestic violence advocacy groups that physically abusive intimate partners first engage in coercive control tactics to gain control over their victims before engaging in physical harm or strangulation. Current Virginia Code is reactive to physical domestic violence and this bill could provide a way to be proactive in preventing physical violence or homicide. Holding abusers accountable for their treatment of their victims before they are able to commit acts of physical violence could help save many lives. The majority of female homicides are caused by perpetrators of domestic violence. Most perpetrators of domestic violence have a pattern of behavior of repeatedly treating their intimate partners abusively. Providing protections from a partner who is committing coercively controlling tactics would give a victim some time and space to find a way to get back on their feet and to start healing as being in this situation often leaves victims in a mental fog for a while as they adjust to their new life. Being allowed to continue contacting, threatening, harassing, and trying to control a victim after the relationship has ended will continue without measures being put into place to stop these behaviors. Nobody deserves to be treated in this manner. This bill will save lives and it is necessary to vote in support of it. Thank you for your time.