Previously in Rhode Island, domestic violence protective orders sought in Family Court covered only the common children of the plaintiff and the defendant. In order to also protect children who are not related to the defendant by blood or marriage, the plaintiff had to get a separate order in District or Superior Court. When Governor Gina Raimondo signed the “Protect All Children Act” earlier this year, that changed. Now, domestic violence protective orders sought in Family Court will include any children of the plaintiff who aren’t related to the defendant.
Yesterday Governor Raimondo held a ceremonial signing of the bills, where domestic violence survivors spoke about the importance of the new legislation.
“As a mother, my children’s wellbeing will always be my number one concern,” said Robyn Giragosian, a survivor of domestic abuse and mother of five children. “Moving forward, this law will make an invaluable difference in the lives of survivors and their families in our state.”
Kristi Di Cenzo, SOAR member, said when trying to file a restraining order for herself and her children, she needed a separate restraining order – which required paying a fee of about $150 – because not all of her children were biologically related to her abuser.
Can we please ask a favor?
Funding for our reporting relies entirely on the generosity of readers like you. Our independence is how we are able to write stories that hold RI state and local government officials accountable. All of our stories are free and available to everyone right here at UpriseRI.com. But your support is essential to keeping Steve on the beat, covering the costs of reporting many stories in a single day. If you are able to, please support Uprise RI. Every contribution, big or small is so valuable to us. You provide the motivation and financial support to keep doing what we do. Thank you.
“The way the statute was written, it added another barrier to leaving an abusive relationship… I was afraid for my children’s safety and my own,” said Di Cenzo. “All children deserve equal protection.”
“By listening to survivors and amplifying their voices, we will create a future without domestic violence,” said Tonya Harris, Executive Director of the RICADV.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, Senator Maryellen Goodwin (Democrat, District 1, Providence) and Representative Christopher Blazejewski (Democrat, District 2, Providence) also spoke at the event.
UpriseRI is entirely supported by donations and advertising. Every little bit helps:
Become a Patron!