Local News

Advocates Want to See Domestic Violence Bill Passed

Posted July 31, 2007

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— State lawmakers passed four pieces of major legislation aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence this past session of the General Assembly.

But advocates say a fifth bill that has the potential to save hundreds of lives is held up in the Appropriations Committee.

House Bill 44 would make it a felony for offenders who knowingly violate a domestic order more than once. As the law stands, offenders are charged with a felony after violating an order four times.

"This is a lifesaving bill," said Fran Bumgarner, whose 2-1/2-year-old grandson, Kendall Dianis, his mother, Cordae Lee, and her friend, Valerie Gates, were killed July 1, 2002, by Gates' father. "We know that it will save lives."

Alan Gates had been charged nine times in connection with domestic violence or issuing threats, according to court records. But he was found guilty twice; seven other charges were dismissed.

Gates was hiding in the house where his daughter lived with her mother when the three victims returned to the house. Investigators said Gates forced them into a bedroom and shot them to death.

"I know in my heart that Cordae and Kendall and Valerie would still be here with me had that legislation been enforced or had the restraining orders been enforced even before they were murdered," Bumgarner said. "They just were not enforced."

"When someone violates a protective order, that is a red flag to the community, to the court system, that this is an offender we need to take seriously," said Beth Froehling, public policy director with the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "This is someone who can commit a homicide."

Although House Bill 44 has support from lawmakers, they say it also has the potential to put thousands more people in jails and prisons and will cost millions of dollars.

"What we need to do is to figure out how to find the money or how to find ways to make that law more workable," said one of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake.

Advocates hope lawmakers will make the bill a priority when the Legislature convenes in May for its short session.

"We don't need anymore homicides," Bumgarner said. "All it takes is one slap, one hit, one punch, and it can escalate to a homicide in one moment, and we know that to be true."

187 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • snoozgoddess Aug 2, 2007

    back to the topic at hand, I know where they can find the money to pay to enforce this bill. If they were to take the money they use for medicaid to pay for viagra they could use it to enforce this bill. There, problem solved. How hard was that?

  • Obscurite Aug 1, 2007

    "@Obscurite..Did they pull your post? Did it have an intelligent thought in it, or was it like the rest of your dribble? Oh yah, since when do you speak for ALL women? My mother in law agreed, my wife agreed and my neighbor as well as my boss. Let's see, a retired professor, a lawyer, a C level manager of an international firm, a research scientist. They ALL said you post like a spoiled child used to calling names when disagreed with. And 'son'; if you were my momma, I would castrate myself to stop the spread of your ignorance."

    My friend you are obviously a few brick short of a full load, I never claimed to speak for "all" women or any woman for that matter. Truthfully, I can't even follow your gibberish. And if (and I believe that is a very big if) all those women are there with you, why don't you let them read back a few posts and let's see how they support your offensive nature. Why name yourself "Quitlying" when you obviously cannot?

    And what name did I call you exactly?

  • Run_Forrest_Run Aug 1, 2007

    Thank you Obscurite - you are a gentleman and I appreciate you.

  • Obscuriti Aug 1, 2007

    You two need to get a room.

  • QuitLying Aug 1, 2007

    @Obscurite..Did they pull your post? Did it have an intelligent thought in it, or was it like the rest of your dribble? Oh yah, since when do you speak for ALL women? My mother in law agreed, my wife agreed and my neighbor as well as my boss. Let's see, a retired professor, a lawyer, a C level manager of an international firm, a research scientist. They ALL said you post like a spoiled child used to calling names when disagreed with. And 'son'; if you were my momma, I would castrate myself to stop the spread of your ignorance.

  • Obscurite Aug 1, 2007

    I do not believe that they deleted the post...it really is too bad too. I'll have to summarize. QL wouldn't get the nuances anyway.

    QL, son, you are way out of your depth if you think you can debate me with terms like "yellow dog media" and "smells like fish"...you need to finish up middle school then come back to the boards, okay?

  • QuitLying Aug 1, 2007

    @obscurite. Name calling? Sounds like you reach your frustration level quickly when you are disagreed with and run out of ideas just as quickly.

  • Obscurite Aug 1, 2007

    "I didn't see the other post. I was offended by it, as it was demeaning to all women to say we were GIVEN our freedom."

    I think the post got pulled because I didn't see it just now when I went back...I wanted to verify that is was QL (didn't want to fully spell his name because his moniker is so opposite his posting content).

  • QuitLying Aug 1, 2007

    @my-perogative, I wasn't offended, just a turn of phrase. Troll and not biting, does that mean you are thinking with your sex organ and it smells like fish?

  • Obscurite Aug 1, 2007

    "For every one of my ilk that speaks out, there are thousands who remain silent."

    Yes, and every time I pick up a rock, I see them underneath.

More...