Last week on Staten Island, NY, city authorities announced a new program to help prevent domestic abuse and protect the city’s victims. The new program, called Domestic Violence GPS Initiative, will be launched this month.
The GPS tracking program means serial domestic abusers, men and women who have been convicted of domestic abuse on more than occasion, will be fitted with GPS tracking devices. The GPS tracking devices will automatically text their victims if the abuser gets too close. The GPS tracking device will send an alert to the victim if the offender crosses the exclusionary zone, which can be a 1,000-foot radius surrounding the victim’s home, work or school, depending on the case.
Domestic abuse is a serious problem for thousands of citizens across America. One of the challenges with preventing domestic abuse is that the abusers often will become obsessed with their victims, and will continue to show up at victims’ residences or places of work, even though the court has issued restraining orders.
According to the District Attorney’s office, “almost half of all domestic abusers are repeat offenders and about 25 percent of all domestic violence cases in the borough include a charge for violating a court order of protection.”
“To many domestic abusers, an order of protection is just a piece of paper,” said Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan to the NY Daily News. “It does not deter these relentless scofflaws from constantly terrorizing and attacking their victims. I refuse to stand by and continue to watch this happen time and again without trying to do something about it.”