Bill would bar abusers from shelters

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COLUMBIA --- Abusers sometimes drive by the domestic-violence shelter, looking for their victims.

For a woman inside, that's all it takes to put her on edge, said Martha Lawrence, who works at the Lowcountry domestic-violence shelter.

"Somebody coming here onto the property, that would be very frightening," she said.

Even though the facility's location is confidential, she said, that doesn't stop some abusers from tracking their victims there.

But supporters of a bill sent to the Senate floor by a 16-2 vote Tuesday say the measure could provide some peace of mind to victims and a measure of deterrence to abusers.

The bill, which cleared the House last month, would make it a felony trespassing crime for someone to set foot on shelter property if he or she had been charged with domestic violence or is restricted by a personal protection order and has a household member inside the shelter.

Sen. John Hawkins, R-Spartanburg, warned that a woman at a shelter could use the bill to lure her abuser to the shelter as a way to get him arrested.

"She calls up and says, 'Hey, sweets, bring me my toothbrush,' " he said. "He gets hauled off to jail."

Reach Sarita Chourey at (803) 727-4257 or sarita.chourey@morris.com.

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damsl76
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damsl76 05/21/08 - 06:20 am
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Unfortunately there are women

Unfortunately there are women who may do what Sen. Hawkins claims. In most cases I believe women are there to remove themselves from an abusive situation and the therapy as well as support they receive helps each individual break the abuse cycle. So until Hawkins himself is put into a situation where he is the victim I suggest he not pass judgement on the individuals who are so unfortunate to be in that type of scenario. The bill was presented obviously for many reasons, I would rather see one less woman dead.

426Hemi
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426Hemi 05/21/08 - 07:54 am
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If he's that stupid to fall

If he's that stupid to fall for the proverbial hook, line, and sinken, then he's deserving of being caught, and arrested! Watch out, he might bring more than a toothbrush; so if the woman is that stupid to attempt to lure hime to a "confidential" location, then sh'e in effect, blown her cover!

426Hemi
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426Hemi 05/21/08 - 07:55 am
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Sorry, no spell check this

Sorry, no spell check this fine morn!

peppernik
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peppernik 05/21/08 - 11:26 am
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If a household member ends up

If a household member ends up in a shelter, I say whatever it takes to put the abuser away...

Chuchi
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Chuchi 05/21/08 - 12:49 pm
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It's pretty easy to prove

It's pretty easy to prove when a woman lures a guy like that; all you have to do is check cell phone records or even subpoena groundline records from the shelter. That way the guy can prove that she called him, and almost always the charges will be dropped. So Sen. Hawkin's argument is a bit weak.

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