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Hope's Door­ - New Beginning Center Hosts Senator Van Taylor And Local Victim Rights Advocates For Bill Signing

Taylor To File Legislation Protecting Survivors Of Sexual Assault And Domestic Violence
 
PLANO, TX - After a roundtable discussion with local victim rights advocates, State Senator Van Taylor today signed the Victim Address Confidentiality Act and the Limit Protective Order Protests Act, two pieces of legislation to protect survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
 
Hope's Door – New Beginning Center, a Plano based non-profit organization specializing in comprehensive intervention and prevention services for everyone affected by intimate partner and family violence, played a critical role in the drafting of the legislation with Senator Taylor and hosted the signing event. Participants included: Jim Malatich, Chief Executive Officer of Hope's Door – New Beginning Center, Greg Willis, Collin County District Attorney; Kim Laseter, Domestic Violence Chief at the Collin County District Attorney's Office; Wendy Hanna, Executive Director of the Turning Point; Holly Cochran, CASA board member and advocate; Niccole Frazier, Chair of Collin County Crime Victim's Council and Crime Victim's Advocate with Allen Police Department; Tulsi Naik, Victims Advocate for CHETNA; Tasneem Rajan, Program Manager for CHETNA; Hilary Valente, Chair of Collin County Council of Family Violence; Colleen Jameson, CFO of Hope's Door - New Beginning Center; Christina Coultas, Non-profit leadership specialist with CASA; and Stephanie Funk, Board member for Hope's Door – New Beginning Center.
Senator Van Taylor signs Victim Address Confidentiality Act and the Limit Protective Order Protests Act at Hope's Door - New Beginning Center after domestic violence prevention legislative roundtable.  
 
"Domestic violence is a chilling and atrocious crime that rips at the fabric of families and our society," stated Taylor. "Organizations like Hope's Door – New Beginning Center are true heroes in our community. Anne and I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Jim, the full team here at Hope's Door – New Beginning Center, and their many volunteers who devote their time and resources to protecting women and children in our community."
 
Specifically, Victim Address Confidentiality Act specifies the home address of any person eligible for a protective order for family violence, sexual assault, trafficking, or stalking, or a participant within the Address Confidentiality Program, be classified as confidential within tax appraisal and voter registration records.  This protects the confidentially of a victims' home address from property tax appraisal records and voter registration rolls, closing public information loopholes that enable perpetrators to locate, stalk, and potentially confront their victims. 
 
Discussing the Victim Address Confidentiality Act, Taylor stated, "The trauma victims of sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking undergo does not fade with an arrest or even final conviction. While victims may obtain protective orders, many still live in fear and go to great lengths to avoid creating any paper trail their perpetrator can then use to locate them. All too often this prevents victims of such horrid crimes from otherwise routine activities such as purchasing a home or even registering to vote. By redacting this information victims can maintain their privacy while trying to live their life in a manner the majority of us take for granted."
 
The Limit Protective Order Protests Act closes a loophole that allows perpetrators of sexual assault or abuse to annually re-litigate protective orders forcing victims to repeatedly confront their assailant in court to demonstrate a continual need for the protective order.
 
Senator Taylor said of the Limit Protective Order Protests Act, "Forcing victims to come back to court as often as once a year to face their assailant and re-litigate the case thwarts the fundamental purpose of the protective order. Our legal system should provide safe harbor for survivors of abuse but this loophole turns our courts into venues of harassment and intimidation."
 
Jim Malatich, Chief Executive Officer of Hope's Door – New Beginning Center, said of the legislation, "I want to thank Senator Taylor for working with us on this important legislation. Through our several meetings I know Van to be passionate about family violence prevention and intervention measures core to the mission at Hope's Door – New Beginning Center. These are commonsense pieces of legislation that will go a long way in protecting survivors of abuse and providing helpful tools for their healing and recovery."
 
Hope’s Door opened in 1986 to address a growing need for services for victims of domestic violence in our community. Today, as a merged agency, Hope’s Door – New Beginning Center is the only organization in Collin County specializing in prevention and intervention services for domestic violence victims, children, and perpetrators. Hope’s Door – New Beginning Center locations in Plano and Garland serves individuals from all over North Texas. In 2015, Hope’s Door answered 3,241 hotline calls; served 21,000 meals; provided 6,800 hours of counseling; provided emergency shelter to 375 women and children; and volunteers in North Texas contributed 18,000 hours of community service.
 
Last session Senator Taylor authored and passed SB 112 (84R) the Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence Act. This bill allows a judge to issue an emergency protective order banning all forms of communication between the abuser and victim or the victim's family. Before passage of this legislation a judge only has the power to ban stalking, assault, threatening, or harassing communication.
 
A seventh-generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor serves as Vice-Chairman of both the Nominations Committee and the Sunset Advisory Commission. He is also as a member of the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees as well as the interim Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.
 
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