Domestic violence cases cause ineffaceable changes to the lives of the victim and the accused. Because domestic violence by definition occurs between people with a prior relationship, sometimes the parties may contact each other after the incident in an attempt to mend the damaged relationship and begin to rebuild the trust between them.
Other times, however, the person accused or convicted of domestic violence may, motivated by anger, initiate contact with the victim in an attempt to intimidate or harass the victim. Restraining orders can help victims achieve peace of mind by precluding the abuser from having contact with the victim. New Jersey is currently considering a measure that would give victims of domestic violence an additional measure of protection.
While restraining orders are meant to create distance between abuser and victim, the results are not perfect in practice. A number of abusers violate the terms of the orders, and a certain subset do so repeatedly. As a solution, some states have given courts the authority to mandate that those who continually fail to obey restraining orders be fitted with a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet. According to data from states that have adopted the tracking device, electronic monitoring has reduced the number of restraining order violations.
New Jersey’s proposed law, which is currently making its way through the State Legislature, would give victims the ability to track the abuser’s location. The intent is to give victims the ability to know when the abuser is nearby so that they may seek help if necessary. The GPS system will also inform police of the abuser’s whereabouts.
Source: NewsWorks, “N.J. considers allowing victims of domestic violence to monitor offenders,” Phil Gregory, Feb. 7, 2012.