Family of domestic violence victim pushes for national domestic violence registry legislation

Family of domestic violence victim pushes for national domestic violence registry legislation

Don Estes and his family were celebrating Thanksgiving when they heard the tragic news. His niece, 30-year-old Tina Stewart, had died.

Her accused murderer was her boyfriend of two years, Nicholas Holden.

Five months later, Tina’s family is still grieving her loss, but they are moving forward too, fighting for change both here in Washington and nationwide.

“I’ve called all the senators and all the congressman,” said Estes. “I’ve called all 50 Lieutenant Governors.”

He’s hoping to get a new bill called Tina’s Bill passed and he’s going to go state to state to do so.

“How many more, how many more need to die before we start waking up and speaking up,” he said referencing victims of domestic violence.

Broadly, he says Tina’s bill would make a national domestic violence registry that anyone could access, in addition to a number of other changes at the state level. To read the bill on the Team Tina Facebook page, click here.

Estes says he has had a positive response from many national and statewide leaders, including the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, who has sent him a letter saying he would push for the bill in the state’s next legislative session.

“Its been an emotional rollercoaster,” he said. “But we can fix this, we can at least make an effort to do so.”

He says Tina’s story has been shared across the nation and is hopeful that this bill will gain momentum.

“How long am I going to fight for this,” he said, “until my dying breath. Until we can get this taken care of.”

If you or a loved one are in need of help and in an abusive relationship, there are resources available to you.

Click here for the YWCA website.

Click here for the Lutheran Community Services website.