"Knowledge is power," Rep. Klippert files domestic violence bill weeks before session

"Knowledge is power," Rep. Klippert files domestic violence bill weeks before session

A bill sponsored by Representative Brad Klippert creating a registry listing people convicted of domestic violence is one step closer to becoming a law.

It's called Tina's Bill, named after a Washington woman brutally killed by an abusive partner last Thanksgiving.

Supporters say if it passes the law would create a public registry of people with a violent history.

Potential red flags anyone can check before ever heading on that first date.

Kennewick's Don Estes was Tina's uncle, he says sometimes persistence pays off.

"I don't give up, I haven't given up," he said. "There's not a day gone by that I haven't done something for this cause."

It's been 12 months since his niece, Tina Stewart, was murdered.

RELATED STORY: Kennewick man works to create domestic violence registry with "Tina's Bill"

But in that stretch of time, Estes has accomplished something miraculous.

He told Action News he's celebrating the minor victory in her honor, hoping her death won't be in vain.

"Because I made a promise and I don't go back on my word," he said through tears. "I want Tina remembered by everybody in this world."

Estes says the bill bearing his niece's name will someday provide folks with an easy way to verify whether or not a potential date could lead to tragedy.

"Everyone has a cell phone, Tina had a cell phone. But this website wasn't created, so she didn't know about this guys violent past," he said.

Rep. Brad Klippert filed the bill yesterday, weeks before the state legislature meets in Olympia.

He says unlike a sex-offender registry, Tina's bill isn't punitive.

Instead it simply lists anyone convicted of one felony or multiple misdemeanors for domestic violence.

"We say that knowledge is power," Klippert said. "Had this been available for Tina she could've seen that the person she was involved with had done this before."

Klippert wears multiple hats, not only is he an elected official serving in the Washington House of Representatives, he's also a deputy with Benton County Sheriff's Department.

He says 25 years in law-enforcement has shown him the devastating effects of domestic violence.

RELATED STORY: Advocates say merely acknowledging domestic violence saves lives

"We can't be there twenty-four seven, 365." he explained. "But if we can create a tool where people can protect themselves, how great is that?"

Estes hopes to eventually take the registry national, but first he says they need to get the votes here at home.

"This isn't for me, this is for the victims. This is for Tina. We should've had this law a long time ago," the advocate said.

Klippert says they wont know whether or not the bill is picked up and assigned a number until at least January 14, 2019.

In the meantime he encourages folks to contact their state representatives and state speaker of the house to urge their support for Tina's Bill.

He says an easy way to get through is to call the Legislative Hotline and ask to be connected to your representative's office.

To find the congressional representative for your area, visit Washington State Legislature District Finder.

State Legislative Hotline:

-Phone: 1-800-562-6000
-TTY: 1-800-635-9993

Get Involved:

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