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Tierne's Law Brings More Protections For Victims of Domestic Violence In Pennsylvania

Office of Governor Tom Wolf
Governor Tom Wolf signs Senate Bill 449, known as Tierne’s Law, strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence. The governor was joined by Senator Camera Bartolotta, victim advocates and members of Tierne's family.";

A package of bills aimed to protect victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania has been signed into law. 

Tierne's Law is named for a Washington County woman, Tierne Ewing, who was tortured and killedby her estranged husband in August of 2016. 

Before signing the legislation, Governor Tom Wolf said he hopes the package will prevent more domestic abuse deaths in the commonwealth.

"This bill will strengthen our hand in protecting victims of domestic abuse while holding their abusers accountable for the atrocious acts they have committed," Wolf said. "And it will help survivors of this kind of abuse gain the security and peace of mind they need as they recover from these horrible crimes they've been forced to live through."

The measure gives judges the option to use risk assessment tools to determine if an abuser continues to pose a threat to their victim.

"This should provide additional avenues for these judges to use when setting things like bail amounts in domestic abuse cases," Wolf said. 

One bill in the package will make relocation easier for people in housing assistance if they need to escape domestic violence. Another will require an abuser to give up all firearms and weapons when they enter a final Protection From Abuse order.

Tierne's law will also allow judges to extend the length of a Protection From Abuse order or create a new one if it expires while the abuser is incarcerated. 

The package was sponsored by state Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).