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State Representative Says Her Work Wasn’t Accomplished Under Bill That Could Protect Victims of Domestic Violence – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – State Representative Anita Kulik is not giving up hope for legislation that can protect victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.

Kulik is the lead sponsor behind the Alina Act, a bill that would make electronic surveillance an option if a defendant violates the PFA. Kulik reintroduced the law following the 2017 murder of Pitt student Alina Sheykhet, who filed a PFA against ex-boyfriend Matthew Darby just days before her death.

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Kulik said the bill is stuck in the House Judiciary Committee with no further comments. Kulik visited Washington County on Thursday to talk to leaders about the success of its electronic surveillance program to get some ideas as she plans to rewrite the law.

The Office of Adult Probation runs an electronic surveillance program for criminal domestic violence cases in the county, and it’s a program that Kulik thinks the state could use as a model if her bill accepted.

The program is called the Buddi System. Jon Ridge, Washington County’s Director of Parole and Adult Probation, oversees the program that has been run in the county for about five years. He said it was the only one of its kind in the state.

Ridge said defendants in certain criminal domestic violence cases may be required to wear an electronic tracking bracelet as a condition of release and the victim provided with a GPS monitoring device. to warn them when the culprit is near.

Ridge said his team will be alerted any time an offender gets close to a victim, and his team will call police if needed. His employees are also alerted if the violator tries to cut the bracelet.

Ridge says there are between 15 and 25 cases in the county that are connected to trackers right now, and they’re being monitored by his team 24/7.

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KDKA spoke to one victim who believes she wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t been on the show. We have protected her identity.

“It’s great. They know where I am, where the abuser is all the time,” the victim said.

She said whenever her abuser crosses the exclusion zone, even if it’s by accident, she gets a written alert from the group letting her know they’re nearby.

“For abuse victims, it’s very scary without you knowing it, especially if you live in the same area and run into them,” the victim said.

Kulik is trying to pass legislation in Harrisburg that would require defendants to wear electronic monitoring devices if the judge believes they may be violating the PFA. She said she plans to rewrite the law with Ridge’s program.

Ridge thinks Kulik’s idea is a good one and praises his program for saving so many lives.

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“I know for a fact that more than a handful of victims have been saved because we have this,” said Ridge.

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/10/lawmaker-bill-protect-victims-of-domestic-violence/ State Representative Says Her Work Wasn’t Accomplished Under Bill That Could Protect Victims of Domestic Violence – CBS Pittsburgh

CarmaHassan

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