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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 31, 2018 03:17 PM
From: Representative John T. Galloway
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship of Legislation – Establishing an Offense for Domestic Violence in Front of Children
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that will amend Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to provide a sentencing enhancement for an offense involving domestic violence in the presence of a minor.

This issue was first brought to my attention by the Bucks County District Attorney earlier this year and was presented as an effort developed and supported by the Montgomery County District Attorney and the Cabrini College’s Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence Education.

When dealing with the issue of domestic violence, we must consider the impact it has on the children witnessing the abuse, such as increased anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, social isolation and a lack of empathy. Furthermore, these initial consequences often have long term effects. For instance, children that grow up around domestic violence are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior. Furthermore, they are more likely to get caught up in the cycle of abuse by either becoming the abuser or ending up as an abused person themselves.

I believe it is time that our laws recognize that there is often more than one victim in an abusive relationship, which is why I hope you will join me in sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2588