Coalition: Improvements needed in serving restraining orders

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence wants improvements in the way restraining orders are served.

Daniel Rodriguez is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Evelyn Burgos, and her daughter in Johnston early Sunday. An NBC 10 I-Team investigation revealed Rodriguez has a violent past.

Burgos had sought a restraining order against Rodriguez in July. But it was never served, so it wasn't valid.

"We see victims tell us all the time that they're the ones who are calling the sheriff's department to find out the status. In our opinion, the burden should not be on the victims to monitor and track it like that," Deborah DeBare, the executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition of Domestic Violence, said Friday on a taping of "10 News Conference."

DeBare said domestic violence cases in Rhode Island amount to about 10,000 per year. She said 60 to 70 domestic assault victims show up in shelters every night of every day of the year.

DeBare said prevention of domestic violence through educational programs could be a big help, and she's found a way to fund them: an extra fee on marriage licenses.

"Our priority will be to get the prevention violence fund up and running," DeBare said.

DeBare also wants the state to pass a law that mirrors a federal law which bans those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from possessing a gun.

The Rhode Island House failed to pass the legislation.