New Bill Could Create Domestic/Family Violence Database

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

Finding a sex offender is just a click away, but one state lawmaker wants to add another type of crime to the Department of Public Safety's Web site: domestic violence.

If San Antonio Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer gets his way, you'll soon be able to find out whose been convicted of domestic violence, but only if they've been found guilty more than once.

NewsWest 9 took to the streets on Sunday to see what West Texans thought about the proposed bill.

"Nobody wants their dirty laundry aired out, but then again, why are you doing stuff that warrants action of the law," Shannon Collins, a supporter of the bill, said.

It's three strikes, you're out in baseball, but for House Bill 100, three strikes and you're in.

Representative Martinez-Fischer wants anyone who's been convicted of domestic or family violence to be held accountable and it would all be available on the web.

"You never know who's out there and it's a lot easier to be able to jump on your computer and pull it up really quickly," another supporter, Shannon Dean, said.

A picture, name and even an address would be listed on the database. You would even be able to find out if that person is still on probation for the offense.

Some Odessans said the new database would be helpful for many reasons.

"I think it could be a handy tool," Collins said. "Maybe help you out there with who you're hanging around with or maybe who someone's hanging around with."

Dean agreed.

"I think it's an absolutely great idea," she said. "I think the more information people have about their surroundings and their neighbors, the better they'll be able to protect themselves and their families."

But others aren't so sure.

"It's not like somebody's going to go to someone's house they don't know and just start hitting them," Odessan, Mariano Ramos, said. "I guess it's kind of handy to them but I don't know. I guess it's kind of private to me."

And while he may think it's an invasion of privacy, Ramos said it would be better if the convicted took responsibility for their actions.

"They should man up and say something," Ramos said.

Collins felt three convictions is too much.

"Abuse is abuse," she said. "One time is too many."

If the bill is passed, the registry would be available online with the sex offender database on the DPS Web site and it would be free to the public.