Three New York legislators are working to enact a proposed law, which would automatically register people who have been on convicted of domestic abuse on a nationwide database similar to the national sex offender registry.
State Senator Eric Adams, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries are pushing to have the Domestic Violence Offender Database created. The proposed law comes on the heels of the murder of 23-year-old Sarah Coit, who was stabbed to death and nearly decapitated last week during a domestic dispute with her boyfriend. The suspect in Coit’s death, Raul Barrera, has been linked to several violent incidents in the past. Just last year, he plead guilty to smashing a man in the face with a bottle.
As Senator Adams points out, Barrera has seven prior incidents of violence, and if Coit had that information, it could have likely saved her life.
Consequently, a law such as this would affect families who have a parent that has been convicted of domestic violence.
On one hand, it would make public the names of violent people right in your own neighborhood, which might also come in handy when making playdates. Sometimes you might know the mother of your child’s friend but not necessarily know the husband who works long hours or the teenage son who will also be in the house.
While a national registry would certainly enable incidents of domestic abuse to become public knowledge, would it also make the victims less likely to press charges when the abuser is a husband or boyfriend, and they are afraid of school, work, and neighbors finding out?
Surely, more has to be done because too many children are growing up in abusive households, and this might be a step in the right direction.
Do you think a national domestic violence registry would help victims? Do you think it would help deter domestic violence incidents? Do you think the sex offender registry helps deter sex offenders?