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Tennessee House of Representatives advances  Debbie and Marie  Domestic Violence Protection Act

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The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee this past week advanced legislation that would significantly increase protections for victims 

of aggravated domestic assault in Tennessee.

House Bill 2692, also known as The Debbie and Marie Domestic Violence 

Protection Act, would require aggravated assault suspects in certain domestic 

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violence cases to wear a global position monitoring system (GPS) if they were 

released on bond.

“For many years, Tennessee has struggled with being in the top percentile for 

domestic violence, and more specially, domestic violence deaths,” said bill sponsor 

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State Rep. Clay Doggett, R-Pulaski. “In my time here in the legislature, I’ve tried to find legislation that would 

help provide additional protections and remedies to victims, especially those of 

aggravated domestic assault…. This is just another tool that we can use for victims 

and law enforcement to be able to make sure there is an avenue of safety for 

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(them).”

A GPS service provider must be able to notify a victim’s cell phone if their alleged 

attacker is within a certain proximity of their location. The company would also be

required to notify local law enforcement when a violation of a defendant’s bond 

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conditions occurred.

The legislation is named in honor of Debbie Sisco and Marie Varsos. Both women 

were killed in 2021 by Varsos’ estranged husband Shaun who was out on bond for 

strangling his wife and threatening to shoot her a month earlier. 

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There were 61,637 victims of domestic violence statewide in 2022, according to  the most recent data from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. House Bill 2692 was 

scheduled to be heard in the Criminal Justice Committee on Feb. 20.

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