Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

February 11, 2014

Taking aim

O’Malley seeks to cut domestic violence

Hardly a day — let alone a week — goes by that the Times-News police log does not carry a report of a local domestic violence incident. That frequency is also the case throughout Maryland, prompting state legislators to look at ways of giving women and children more protection.

Gov. Martin O’Malley is sponsoring a trio of bills aimed at reducing domestic violence cases. The bills seek to:

• Make it easier for victims to get protective orders.

• Add second-degree assault, which is usually the charge in domestic violence incidents, as an automatic reason to issue a protective order.

• Increase the penalty for domestic assault if the violence is committed in the presence of a child.

Over the last several years, legislators have passed a number of domestic violence bills to address the problem. The Baltimore Sun notes that domestic assaults have fallen 20 percent over the last decades, and homicides of women and children attributable to domestic assaults fell by 32 percent.

Nevertheless, more needs to be done. It is still too difficult to obtain a protective order.

The Sun reports that Maryland is the only state in the nation that requires victims to show "clear and convincing evidence" that their lives are at risk. Last year, out of 5,700 requests for permanent protective orders that were denied by the courts, 3,500 were rejected because they didn't meet that evidentiary standard.

The O’Malley legislation would change the requirement of “clear and convincing evidence” to a “preponderance of evidence,” giving courts more leeway in issuing protective orders.

Time is of the essence when a protective order is needed. The bills before the General Assembly may result in an even sharper decline in the battering of women and children.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Build it now Build it now

    Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Get on with it

    Now that Maryland State’s Attorney General Doug Gansler has been asked to help with the investigation of the McCoole Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department it is our hope that the probe regains traction.

    July 12, 2014