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Man calls for tougher domestic violence laws in Virginia

After losing four of his relatives to a house fire recently, a Virginia man thinks he knows the cause. He blames a man who had been threatening a fifth resident of the house, who was not killed in the fire.

The nighttime fire killed three women and one very young child, representing several generations of one family. Investigators reportedly found puncture wounds on two of the victims, leading them to suspect foul play. 

The woman who was not killed in the fire had a protective order in place against the man who is now suspected of setting the fire. The man reportedly sent an ominous text to a friend on the night of the blaze. The suspect, who has not yet been found by the authorities, had also recently left the fifth resident of the home a disturbing message.

The woman reported that she had experienced domestic violence problems with this man over a period of months. After the safety of her children was threatened, she filed for the preliminary protective order.

A man related to the four who perished in the fire is now calling on Virginia lawmakers to create a domestic violence registry similar to the state registry that tracks sex offenders. He has started a petition and suggests putting tracking anklets on domestic violence offenders, so the authorities can follow their activities and protect victims.

While this man’s idea may not come to fruition, his work is a reminder that victims of domestic abuse may be wise to contact the police and seek legal guidance in order to obtain the maximum protection that is possible from the legal system.

Source: NBC 12, “Quadruple homicide prompts calls for statewide domestic violence registry,” by Chris Thomas, April 28, 2014

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