Sen. Rafferty introduces bill to protect Mainers from domestic violence and stalking

Posted: April 26, 2024 | Senator Rafferty

AUGUSTA ­­— On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Rafferty, D-Kennebunk, introduced legislation to protect Maine victims of domestic violence and stalking by providing clarity to current law regarding the way protective orders are written. LD 2103, “An Act to Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse and Violence by Amending the Law Regarding Proximity Restrictions in Final Protection from Abuse Orders,” will create clear language to better assist all involved in the judicial process surrounding stalking cases.

“Maine’s Protection from Abuse statute is an important tool to keep survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking safe,” said Sen. Rafferty. “Victims have the right to feel safe in their day to day lives. That means we need to close loopholes we know abusers use to continue to harass and intimidate their victims.”

This legislation would remove the onus of police enforcing protective orders by removing vague language perpetrators work around when they attempt to continuously harass victims. It also would create an option for judges to provide specific locations perpetrators cannot go within the court order. This could include the victim’s work location or an address the victim frequents, such as their family members’ homes. These policies will extend reassurances to victims knowing that places they frequent will be safe from further terrorization. Order distances are flexible for each judge to create a determination on what is fair and necessary within each case. This will benefit rural Mainers working through these legislative battles who may be unable to avoid certain stores or distances due to the size of their municipality.

LD 2103 faces further action in committee.