Bill seeks to protect victims of domestic violence, strengthens gun safety laws, supporters say

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that he has signed legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and strengthen California’s gun safety laws.

“The city of Fresno already has the highest number of per capita calls to law enforcement in the state of California for domestic violence, and we are not the largest city,” said Nicole Linder, executive director of the Marjaree Mason Center, which provides emergency support and services to survivors.

“We have served over 9,600 victims in [2020]She said, adding that they had seen a 13% increase in cases. These figures are in addition to a 25% increase that the center had already experienced in 2019.

“The Marjaree Mason Center has seen an increase in the severity of violence experienced by people,” Linder said. “More people were strangled, more people were stabbed – shot. “

One of those cases includes an apparent murder-suicide in Clovis on Thursday. Investigators believe a woman was shot dead by an ex-partner.

To tackle the problem, Governor Newsom signed legislation to strengthen protection for victims of domestic violence. The legislation aims to ensure that assailants with a domestic violence restraining order return their weapons.

Defenders fear this is not enough.

“The harsh reality is that if someone wants to kill someone, they will,” Linder said. “And they’re going to find a way to do it. It’s no different that a restraining order is meant to protect people, and it is – it contains protections. However, it remains a piece of paper.

Linder says she encourages victims to develop a security plan and take threats seriously.

“Domestic violence is not a woman’s problem. There are victims of all genders, all types of relationships and all ages, ”she explained. “We have a huge percentage of teens who experience teen dating violence.”

Bills signed by Newsom this week also allow victims to file restraining orders electronically, ensure the timely distribution of grants for domestic violence shelters, analyze gun data for tracking smuggled firearms, among other things. A complete list is available on the State of California website.

Anyone who feels they need help can call the anonymous 24/7 Marjaree Mason Center hotline at (559) 233-HELP.

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