Sen. David Simmons formally announced the passage of his “No Contact” bill in Downtown Orlando on Friday afternoon. The legislation will ensure that once an “order of no contact” has been issued by the court, jailed suspects are prohibited from contacting and potentially threatening retaliation to victims.
“We’re trying to ensure the prevention of domestic violence is furthered with this” said Simmons before a meeting of the Domestic Violence Commission, which inspired the legislation.
“Immediately, when stepping before a Judge, there is a ‘no contact order’, this is a significant step forward,” the Altamonte Springs lawmaker explained.
A second bill which Simmons attempted to pass would have made it illegal for abusers to tamper with their electronic GPS monitoring devices. Currently, it is not illegal to remove or tamper with the device unless it’s part of community control.
Simmons says the legislation was “tied up between the House and the Senate” but plans to reintroduce it in the next session. GPS devices are currently not being used in Orange County.
“It’s not about tracking the person” said Harbor House CEO Carol Wick.
“It’s about an early warning for the survivor. That’s the most important part. GPS is not going to protect you unless the other person respects it. We’re giving an early warning sign for the survivor to hide and implement a safety plan until law enforcement can respond.”