Governor Bob McDonnell was joined today at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale by members of the Governor’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board, victims of crime, public safety officials, family members of victims and elected officials to sign into law 13 pieces of legislation to support and protect victims of crime, specifically human trafficking and domestic violence victims.
The legislation includes measures to enhance campus safety, combat human trafficking and strengthen enforcement of protective orders for victims of domestic violence. The new laws further protect Virginia’s citizens by ensuring that all victims of crime in Virginia have the services necessary to recover and protecting our citizens from future victimization.
Speaking about the legislation signed today, Governor McDonnell said, “The preservation of peace and protection from violence in our classrooms, playgrounds and neighborhoods remains a fundamental role of government. Unfortunately, every year thousands of innocent Virginians suffer from the devastating impact of crime. Criminal acts put victims and their families through debilitating emotional, physical, psychological, and financial harm. This year, with the assistance of the Domestic Violence Advisory Board, my administration developed and passed effective measures to improve responses to domestic violence, provide more comprehensive services to victims, and more effectively prevent crime. The legislation signed today is a bipartisan accomplishment that will make a difference in assisting victims, holding offenders accountable, and preventing future criminal activity.”
“Human trafficking – forced prostitution and forced labor – is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the country,” said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. “It is vitally important that we continue anti-human trafficking efforts by strengthening the law and training law enforcement and prosecutors how to use existing laws to stem this growing crime. I support any effort to rid our Commonwealth and our nation of this scourge, and I applaud Governor McDonnell for signing these crucial public safety bills into law.”
Governor McDonnell’s Executive Order 25 in October of 2010 established the Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board to advise the governor on effective measures to promote appropriate criminal justice responses to domestic violence, provide comprehensive services to victims and implement effective prevention initiatives.
On April 25, 2011, the Governor issued Executive Order 44 to extend the Domestic Violence Advisory Board to continue its efforts to improve Virginia’s laws, programs and procedures to enhance the Commonwealth’s response to domestic and sexual violence at all levels.
Last summer, the Governor tasked the members of the Domestic Violence Advisory Board with identifying any challenges to the successful implementation of Virginia’s improved protective order laws. Through their efforts, the administration identified several minor but necessary, amendments to the statutes governing protective orders issued by a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.