Approximately 75 percent of intimate partner homicides involve a male partner who will not accept a woman’s decision to end their relationship and to be free from his violence. In the wake of these murders, people often shake their heads and wonder what could have been done to prevent these unnecessary tragedies. One promising answer is the use of GPS technology to contain domestic violence offenders.
GPS can assist victims and law enforcement in:
- Enforcing the terms of an order of protection, this gives the victim control over her life.
- Giving law enforcement automatic proof of any violations; Violations themselves are indicators of an increased risk of lethality.
- Providing police officers with patterns of violations or near-violations.
By shifting the burden of responsibility of their actions to the offender this system creates geographic exclusion zones that the offender is forbidden from entering. It can include the victim’s residence, place of work, her children’s schools, or other places that she frequents. GPS devices will track the offender’s movements to ensure that they are obeying the terms of the order of protection. If an offender enters an excluded zone, the authorities and the victim are automatically notified. This provides sufficient evidence to show violation of the court’s order and, it can order imprisonment, a fine, or both.
Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring of domestic abusers offers a way to enforce the terms of a no contact order, holding both the offender and the state accountable for making the order offer the protection it claims to provide. This technology monitors the offender with an ankle bracelet to make sure that he does not violate the terms of the order of protection by entering forbidden zones where he would have the opportunity to re-assault or further terrorize the victim. Over 25 states have begun to use GPS technology for domestic violence offenders.