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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2018 04:06 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Statewide Registry for Domestic Violence Predators (Robin's Law)
I plan to reintroduce legislation that would amend Title 42 to create a statewide registry for domestic violence predators. This registry would be similar to the Megan’s Law model of a registry for sex offenders.

Domestic violence is a difficult issue because some individuals continue to commit acts of violence against their current or former partners, or family members, whether or not they have spent time in prison for a prior domestic violence offense. We must identify these persistently dangerous perpetrators and protect our residents from them, just as we protect our citizens from sex offenders – because often the behavior escalates to a life-threatening degree, or it continues with other partners leading to more victims.

This bill, also known as ‘Robin’s Law,’ would honor the memory of Robin Shaffer, a Quakertown woman who was brutally murdered by her estranged husband on June 15, 2004. Unfortunately, Robin’s story is far from unique. Between 2007 and 2017, more than 1,600 people have died as a result of domestic violence-related incidents in Pennsylvania, according to statistics from the PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

This legislation would newly create a board to assess individuals convicted of a domestic violence offense, and determine if they are a domestic violence predator. Upon their release, these individuals would be required to register their home address with the Pennsylvania State Police. Failure to register or provide a change of address would be a third-degree felony. Information would remain in the database for 10 years, and these offenders would be subject to lifetime parole, as well as required attendance at monthly counseling sessions, at their expense.

The State Police would maintain this information on a publicly available website, notify victims and local law enforcement of initial registrations and changes of address, forward fingerprint information to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and re-verify address information every 90 days.

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of this bill. This is a reintroduction of SB 314 from the previous legislative session. Co-sponsors included: Costa, Williams, Fontana, Hughes, Farnese, Brewster, Haywood, Leach and Mensch.

Introduced as SB511