Senator Favola's SB510--Domestic Violence Bill Passes the Senate with Bipartisan Support

Bill to protect Domestic Violence Victims Passes Senate

 

Richmond, Virginia – February 7, 2014 – This afternoon, the Virginia Senate passed legislation introduced by Senator Barbara A. Favola (D- Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun) that will strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence. Senate Bill 510 bars individuals who were convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes such as stalking, assault and battery, and/or sexual battery from possessing a firearm or a weapon within a five-year period following the conviction.  After the five -year period has expired, a person’s right to possess a firearm or weapon would be automatically restored. Senator Favola’s bill will strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence across the commonwealth.

Senator Favola, a strong advocate for victims of domestic violence, spoke in favor of her bill on the Senate floor stating “It is time for the Commonwealth of Virginia to put in place laws that will protect women, children, and our communities from these violent offenders.  Do not champion the rights of violent criminals at the expense of the safety of women and children.”

In domestic violence cases alone, nearly one-third of all women murdered in the United States in recent years were murdered by a current or former intimate partner and there were multiple instances of violence before this deadly act.

About 4,000 women die each year due to domestic violence. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.  85% of domestic violence victims are women.

A woman’s chances of being killed by her abuser increases more than 7 times if he has access to a firearm.  Women in states with higher firearm ownership rates are almost 5 times more likely to be murdered by a firearm by women in states with lower firearm ownership rates.

Senate Bill 510 passed with a vote of 29-6 and now heads to the House of Delegates for consideration.

 

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