From an editorial in Tuesday’s (Winston-Salem) Journal:
Domestic violence is a scourge, no doubt. And it’s not a partisan issue. It has the potential to affect any family with deadly consequences.
So we were glad to see Gov. Roy Cooper sign into law three bills presented to him by the Republican-led legislature, all designed to address domestic violence.
Senate Bill 600 broadens the law to allow prosecutors to use previous convictions for domestic violence and stalking as evidence of premeditation. This allows prosecutors to pursue first-degree murder charges in cases where a domestic abuse victim is killed.
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House Bill 343 allows domestic violence protective orders granted by a judge to take full effect even when under appeal, which keeps victims safer.
And House Bill 399, which blocks sharing and posting of private images online without consent, expands previous protections against so-called “revenge porn.”
Domestic violence is a serious issue and victims are often compelled to keep quiet until it’s too late. We have many tools at our disposal to fight it, including education, protective harbors for victims and social support. When those fail, the punishment should fit the crime.
These changes will help.