Bill aims to protect domestic violence victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A rally at the Capitol Tuesday supported a bill that would aim to add another layer of protection to domestic violence victims who have filed a Protection From Abuse order. At the rally, a mother shared her story so others don't have to go through the same pain she did.

Elly Sheykhet said her 20-year-old daughter Alina was not supposed to die the way she did. Now she's hoping House Bill 588 will pass, because even though her daughter filed a PFA order against her ex boyfriend, that piece of paper wasn't enough to save her life.

In 2017, Alina died at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. He stalked her, went to her home, and killed her.

"My husband and I found our daughter in a pool of her own blood," Sheykhet said. "The face of my beautiful daughter was completely destroyed by a clawhammer."

She and her family thought they did everything they could to protect her, feeling confident a PFA order would keep her safe

"Alina truly believed that the legal document, which in reality is just a piece of paper, would save her life," Sheykhet said. "And as you know, that piece of paper, did not do magic. It didn't physically protect my daughter."

State Representatives Anita Kulik, (D) Allegheny County, and Natalie Mihalek, (R) Allegheny County, as well as numerous supporters took a 4 hour bus ride from the Pittsburgh area to show their support for House Bill 588, also known as Alina's Law. It would give judges discretion as to whether a PFA defendant should wear an electronic monitoring device if they pose a threat of violating that order.

Supporters of the Bill said it will add another layer of protection.

"I believe that if electronic monitoring can save even one life, it is worth it," Rep. Kulik said.

Representative Kulik said more than 10 million people suffer from domestic abuse each year, and in PA alone more than 1,600 people have died from domestic violence in the last ten years. Tuesday the stood together to say enough is enough.

FOX 43 spoke to a lawyer who agrees with the basis of the Bill. However, he said it will likely be ruled unconstitutional and could have a negative impact on PFA orders. The bill still needs to pass out of the house judiciary committee before it heads to the full house.

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