Mid-South legislators work to toughen domestic violence laws - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South legislators work to toughen domestic violence laws

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: www.capitol.tn.gov) (Photo Source: www.capitol.tn.gov)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

In the wake of several domestic violence incidents in the Mid-South, Tennessee lawmakers are stepping up to prevent these tragedies.

Local lawmakers are floating four companion bills in the Tennessee House and Senate, but they hinge on victims reporting that they've been abused.

Monday, a woman and man died after a murder-suicide outside a Jackson, TN bank.

Two days later, a supermarket employee was killed by her estranged husband outside her workplace in the Whitehaven neighborhood.

"Without getting into fault and all, there's suffering on both sides of this," said Mayor A C Wharton.

As Wharton sends prayers to both families, he has concerns about the bigger picture.

"We're not getting enough people who will pull or attempt to pull themselves out of these situations and we realize it takes counseling," said Wharton.

The Tennessee Coalition of Domestic Abuse reports 70 percent of domestic abuse incidents go unreported and 65 percent of victims stay in abusive homes.

"We urge any time anyone feels he or she is in potential harm because of a domestic relationship, reach out," said Wharton.

Local lawmakers are pushing bills, from directing domestic assault fines to pay for GPS monitoring devices on abuse and stalking defendants to requiring one domestic violence awareness education program per year for middle and high school students.

Many say restraining orders can't stop these deadly scenes. If you're abused, you can start free counseling.

The Family Safety Center is available to anyone who needs someone to talk to or needs legal help. You can call their 24-hour hotline at (901) 222-4400.

For links to the domestic violence bills, click here

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