Hastings woman fighting to change domestic violence law
A Hastings woman is petitioning to change the way victims of domestic violence are protected from their perpetrators once they are released from prison.
Samantha Waters started her campaign after learning offenders could live in the same street as their victim once they are released from jail.
She said the burden is currently on the victim to find alternative living arrangements.
Launching her online petition, Samantha said: “Often victims are sent to a refuge so as to keep them safe from further violence.
“This means moving away from family and friends, their safety network.
“This can cause isolation and mental health issues and why? They are the victim!
“Would it not be better to prevent the offender from being in the same town or even county as the victim, after all, they are the ones who committed a crime? Why should the victim be punished further and continue to live in fear?
“The law needs to change to protect the victims. This is something very close to my heart so please help me to make the change happen.”
Samantha requires 10,000 signatures in order to get a response from the Government. She will need 100,000 signatures before her petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
She added: “I will also be writing to my local MP.
“I just think it’s terrible that victims cannot be protected. The victims stay victims forever while the perpetrators are able to live freely.
“In some circumstances, a child may be taken away from her mother – maybe put into care – while the mother seeks an alternative place to live. While this happens, her perpetrator may be freed from prison and able to live just a few doors away.”
To support Samantha’s petition, visit www.change.org/p/members-of-parliament-protecting-victims-of-domestic-violence.