Bill would keep domestic violence perpetrators away from victims

Jan 10, 2019, 7:51 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2019, 11:21 am

SALT LAKE CITY — High profile murders in the state of Utah have some lawmakers asking, “How can the state do a better job keeping perpetrators of domestic violence away from their victims?”

One legislator is drafting a bill that he believes can potentially save lives.

Even if a victim of domestic violence takes out a protective order against a potential attacker, that order can’t always force a person to obey it.  In too many cases, the attacker stalks their victim without anyone knowing.

Representative Robert Spendlove says judges in Utah already have the authority to require someone to wear a GPS tracking device if they want to monitor where that person goes.  However, Spendlove says judges don’t always choose this option.

He says, “The goal of this [bill] is to really encourage this and to give courts more tools to enforce this.”

According to Spendlove, the technology exists to ensure a victim would know if a potential abuser is near.

“It would ping their cell phone to tell them that this person is close and you need to get out of here.  At the same time, it would ping law enforcement and say, ‘You need to be going here to respond to this violation,” he adds.

Spendlove believes if this technology had been used in recent years, some domestic violence murders could have been prevented.  For instance, he says it’s possible Lauren McCluskey and Memorez Rackley may be alive had they known where their killers were.  Police say McCluskey was shot and killed by Melvin Rowland on the campus of the University of Utah. Rackley and her six-year-old son, police say, were gunned down by Jeremy Patterson, whom Rackley had dated.

The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition is helping to draft the bill.  Executive Director Jenn Oxborrow believes she knows why more judges don’t order someone to wear a GPS tracking device.

“A lot of times, these bills that are wonderful ideas that have proven to be effective in other places get hung up because of the cost associated with implementing that.  How are we going to pay for this?” she says.

If the bill were to pass, the attackers might be required to pay for the devices.  Oxborrow says this could cost a lot of money, but, the human cost of domestic violence is much higher.

“If you weigh out the cost-benefit analysis on this, it makes total sense,” she says.

Today’s Top Stories


Follow @SimoneSeikaly...
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Sheriff arrests man for felony sex offenses against a child

The Utah County Sheriff's Office said that the case is being prosecuted by Juab County Attorney Ryan Peters.
1 day ago
Unified Police Department vehicle...
Amie Schaeffer

UPD looking for suspect in morning robbery

The Unified Police Department is looking for a male suspect in a robbery at a Chevron in Kearns this morning,
1 day ago
officer involved shooting south salt lake...
Simone Seikaly

So. Salt Lake Police identify victim in officer-involved shooting

Officers were called to 400 E. Robert Ave. over reports of a man with a gun. A 44 year-old-man has been identified as the victim.
1 day ago
Police in Elko, Nev., are seeking the public's assistance in locating a suspect in connection to fi...
Mark Jones

Nevada police searching for suspect who fired into at least three buildings

Police in Elko, Nevada, say someone shot a firearm into at least three different businesses on Monday night. Police say there were no injuries reported.
2 days ago
Ron and Sy Snarr, of Salt Lake City, talk on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, about how they forgave Jorge Be...
Amy Donaldson

“The Letter” – After the murder of Zachary Snarr, a family tries to rebuild

A family realizes that returning to a sense of normalcy after the death of Zachary Snarr is a complicated and lonely road.
2 days ago
An officer is in stable condition after a shooting that left one dead on Sept. 27, 2022. (Adam Smal...
Amie Schaeffer

Officer-involved shooting kills one, sends officer to hospital

A South Salt Lake Police officer is in the hospital after a shots were exchanged overnight. One person kiled.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Bill would keep domestic violence perpetrators away from victims