HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A new proposal in the Connecticut Senate hopes at expand protections for domestic violence victims in the state.
S.B. 5 looks to expand the domestic violence offender GPS monitoring pilot program, which was created for those who have violated protective or restraining orders. It also applies to those who are considered as high-risk offenders.
The pilot program has been up and running in Bridgeport, Danielson and Hartford since 2010.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and supporters want to see the program expanded across the entire state to better protect domestic violence victims.
The push for the bill comes after the death of 40-year-old Julie Minogue, who police say was brutally killed by her ex-boyfriend in December at her home in Milford.
State Sen. James Maroney (D-District 14) said the news of Minogue’s death rocked the tight-nit community. He testified at Wednesday’s judiciary hearing in support of the bill – referring to Minogue’s case.
“She was in her home while two of her children were present,” Maroney said. “She was murdered by her ex-boyfriend despite having both a protective order and a restraining order against him.”
Maroney said the proposed program could have saved her life.
Here’s how it works: the GPS tracking device is put on offenders. Victims have the option to get notifications when the offender is within a set distance of their home. They can also opt-in to mobile tracking and get notified where their abuser is. Law enforcement also receives these notifications if the offender is within a certain range.
Meghan Scanlon, the president and CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, testified in favor of the bill.
“What protective orders and GPS monitoring does is give the victim time to enact a safety plan – gives them some kind of recourse for law enforcement to re-arrest that individual,” she said.
Scanlon said the bill is meant to give victims a better sense of security by knowing where their abusers are at all times.
“It empowers them to be able to go and live their life, free from fear of violence,” she said.