BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Putting technology to work for the benefit of domestic violence victims — a law passed by the Maryland’s General Assembly this week authorizes the use of GPS tracking devices for abusers.
WJZ’s Pat Warren reports, the family of a domestic violence victim made this a personal crusade.
The law is named after the Prince George’s County woman who’s ex-boyfriend broke into her house and slashed her throat even after she requested a restraining order against him.
Maryland’s General Assembly turned to technology to help do what people cannot — monitor the location of domestic violence abusers under restraining orders to help protect victims like Amber Shinault.
“Other innocent people are being exposed to danger all the time,” says Amber’s mother, Angela Zarcone. “Masses of people can be protected.”
Zarcone helped convince lawmakers to empower victims in this way.
“It took a small Army but we believed in it, we were passionate, and we know that this will make a difference,” said Zarcone.
Under Amber’s Law, domestic violence victims have the option to request authorities to strap GPS ankle bracelets on their abusers, and be able to track it with an app. If the offender violates the stay-away zone, they can alert police.
It’s now up to Governor Larry Hogan to decide whether to sign the bill.
It has been five years since Amber was murdered, her killer is serving life in prison.
The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence reports 55 domestic-related deaths between July 2015 and June 2016.