WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Monday morning named for a Washington County woman who was killed by her estranged husband in 2016.
Tierne’s Law, introduced by Sen. Camera Bartolotta, gives Pennsylvania judges additional tools to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence.
Wolf signed the legislation in Harrisburg before the family of Tierne Ewing.
Ewing was kidnapped and killed in August 2016 by her estranged husband, who had been arrested a few weeks prior to the kidnapping for domestic violence, but was granted bail, authorities said. He took off his ankle monitor before the kidnapping.
“We all know the tragic story that led us to take a hard look at our laws, and make this change,” Wolf said. “We mourn Tierne’s loss with her family, and while we can never fix what they’ve had to go through, Tierne’s law will help us prevent senseless and horrible situations like this one from happening to more Pennsylvania families, and will hold perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse accountable for their heinous crimes.”
Bartolotta said the bill clarifies that magisterial district judges may use a risk assessment tool to determine whether a defendant poses a danger to a victim when setting bail in domestic violence cases. It also adds strangulation to the list of offenses for which a perpetrator can be arrested without a warrant.
Wolf is urging the House to pass a package of domestic violence reform bills approved in the Senate. The package includes a bill that would fix a law that allows domestic abusers to have access to guns.
If you or someone you know needs help, there are resources available:
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- List of Shelters
- Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania
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