Delegate is working on behalf of domestic violence survivors
Del. Deb Rey (R-St. Mary’s) has strong stances in support of protections for victims of domestic violence and abuse. I am certain that many who criticize her are well intentioned in their desires to help, but I am equally convinced that they are misinformed and confused about these laws.
I am confident that she has the best interests of all of us at heart.
I am a victim of domestic violence committed upon me by an ex-boyfriend — including a brutal and violent rape, strangulation, and attempted murder. My neck was broken, my head was smashed and I am left with neurological damage, traumatic brain injury, and constant pain. I was left blind in one eye for over a year and I had to slowly relearn to talk and walk. I am still unable to resume my original career in the stressful environment of the intensive care and emergency room nurse, but am working at a slower pace as a visiting home health care nurse.
But I am not saying all this to get sympathy — I am a survivor. But I never again want to be a victim of another murderous criminal attack — and I don’t want other innocent, defenseless Marylanders to be victims either.
Deb Rey was correct in opposing the recent bill that required those convicted of domestic abuse and violence to turn in their firearms to local law enforcement after conviction. This bill was well intentioned but actually increases the danger to domestic violence survivors. The problem is that current laws immediately prohibit such convicted criminals from having access to firearms, but this law gives our convicted attackers two days to turn in their guns.
That’s two days for violent attackers to fester in their anger.
That’s two days for them to ponder their impending imprisonment.
That’s two days to angrily plot their revenge upon their former spouses or partners.
Then the law requires these attackers to pack up all of their guns and ammunition in their cars and to drive them to the police department — but it would be just as easy for the attackers to drive to the house of their former spouses. As a survivor who was stalked and repeatedly attacked, this is truly a terrifying vision for me.
This law is well intentioned but counterproductive. But as a survivor, I feel certain that it will eventually lead to attacks and murders by convicted personnel who want to finish off their victims (and perhaps themselves) before reporting to jail.
Del. Rey drafted and sponsored a bill on my behalf that would recognize those of us who have restraining and protective orders against domestic violence. It would recognize these protective orders as “good and substantial” reasons for domestic violence victims to obtain our Maryland handgun wear and carry permits, given that we are well trained, background checked and otherwise qualified.
This bill did not pass this time, but I greatly appreciate what Del. Rey is trying to do on behalf of those of us who have been victims of domestic violence.
We want to continue to be survivors.
Elizabeth Baran, Marriottsville