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Why there is no national domestic assault offender registry – yet

[ – 11/30/19]

It was a murder so brutal – and one that continues to haunt law enforcement in the quiet community of Osceola County, Florida.

For those like Gibson, who are tasked with safeguarding the most vulnerable in the community, it has raised the question as to what more the justice system should and could be doing to support victims of domestic violence.

Namely, why there has been little headway made to establish a national registry for those convicted of domestic violence crimes – similar to the SORNA registry, which has three tiers publicly listing sex offenders.

“In the year 2019, why don’t we have this in place? We must change that,” Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson told Fox News. “I can’t see any cons in regards to a registry. Information is powerful. If you armed with information that this person has been convicted of domestic violence, you can stay away from that. Being aware of a persons’ violent or abusive background can absolutely save your life.”

The bill that Hottinger and her team are proposing to lawmakers’ centers on three levels. Level one would be attributed to those deemed a first-time offender, and removed after five years. The second level is for offenders convicted of a violent crime or a second offense and would remain on the registry for at least a decade. And the third level is for those convicted three times, and twice or more in five years. Their names would remain on the registry for life.

Indeed, the quest for such a registry is considered by many industry experts to be more of a hindrance than a help.

“The issue comes up nearly every legislative session. Well-meaning legislators and constituents around the country propose creating a state or national registry that lists domestic violence offenders,” said Corbin Streett, a technology safety specialist with the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “But there are many unintended consequences that would actually end up harming survivors and giving a false sense of security to potential victims who look at the registry, thinking it will help them avoid getting into a relationship with an abuser.”

Streett pointed out that only a small number of domestic violence offenders are ever arrested, and many victims simply don’t call for help because they are scared of retaliation. Even if they do, such a small number is subsequently convicted.

“We are also concerned about the impact a registry will have on victims reporting violence. Victims are already hesitant to report domestic violence, worried about the violent retaliation that will come after. If the abuser knows their name will be posted on a registry, it doesn’t make them less likely to abuse; it makes them more likely to try to scare a victim into not reporting,” she continued. “There are also major privacy implications, including potential discrimination against victims that can occur with a registry. When an abuser’s name ends up on a list, it’s not just the abuser who will be outed, but their victims as well.”

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And so it begins. Registry after registry after registry. We are officially a dystopian society. Good bye America.

Oh but they should have this type of registry!! I don’t understand their logic as to why they should not have it. Meaning, the victim’s concern that it may out them if the abuser is listed. Oh, wait!! Let me get my thinking straight. If one victim is outed or even many victims isn’t that well worth it as “if it saves one future potential victim it is worth the registry” – sound familiar. And the logic of “the victim may be outed” – well, not my concern as a SO registrants entire family is outed when the registrant’s information… Read more »

There won’t be a domestic violence abuser registry. Not one like sex. This article is almost comical. What a joke.

Wait…. Didn’t they just sign into law a federal animal abuse registry? So ….. lawmakers care more about animals than about women? 😠 Because that’s certainly how I read it. (Is there any other way to read this??) 😠 Lawmakers never fail to disgust me. 😡. (And I did not hear of one single Halloween molestation by a Registrant, but I DID read about a Halloween DUI driver killing 3 people [who happened to be his family members]. So would someone remind me again why there is not a DUI registry???) Why don’t we just go “all in” and have… Read more »

Most of the opposition to a domestic violence registry apply equally to sex offender registries, such as that it would make someone more likely to re-offend or retaliate, that it undermines victim privacy, gives people a false sense of security, etc. @David – The PACT Act makes animal abuse a federal felony, but does not establish a national registry. Some cities and municipalities have created their own animal abuse registries, however. It’s possible that adding registries of all kinds may have the effect of ultimately diluting registration so much that it becomes meaningless, or becomes so bloated that it collapses… Read more »

One of the reasons domestic violence registry slow to come about is the police officers are abusers at the top of the list.

An excellent point, Harry!!

Imagine if the saints would have attempted to begin registration with the garden variety domestic violence offender? What would have happened? How would the general public have reacted to the notion of indenture for those types perpetrators?

Because it would not have worked for that issue..Domestic Violence…something more morbid the big ugly….Sex Offenders…!
Now that we have 1 nasty registry all others are easier to implement !
Of course who cares if the LAW does more damage than criminals…bad guys !! Well just work alllll that kinda stuff out later….!

This seems to be the truth ^ I’ve heard more than one story about cops abusing their girlfriends etc.

Why the lukewarm reception for an assault registry? It’s because COPS are notorious for being wife-beaters! Oh, GOD. We wouldn’t want to put them in harm’s way by publicly listing their private addresses, now would we?

Don’t believe me? Look it up! It’s all part of their hardwired narcissistic quest for power, domination and control.

Pretty simple answer why these kind of registries won’t work. You have to keep them short and sweet. But when they become too large and bloated, the scare factor goes away if there too many dots on the map yet offenses don’t go up or down the neighborhood. Then the public will find out that registries a fraud. The state fears this happening more than anything else.

Otto, Your assessment is on point, a fraud to presume that a database can prevent an attack inside the offenders house. A lot of child molestation occurs in the home of residence the offender. If states are to rely on pathology as justification for registration – recidivism tendency, then they are also stuck with the limitations wrought by that choice. Public broadcasts that suggest a man is a threat in the public general when in fact he\she has not displayed, or been proved B.A.R.D, to have demonstrated particular predilection, is clearly non-reasonable. Young master Wetterling was kidnapped, but registration was… Read more »

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