Honor Jennifer Martel: Protect Victims of Abuse
  • Petitioned Massachusetts State Senate

This petition was delivered to:

Massachusetts State Senate
Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts
Gov. Deval Patrick

Honor Jennifer Martel: Protect Victims of Abuse

    1. Fallon Williams
    2. Petition by

      Fallon Williams

      Brookline, MA

27-year-old Jennifer Martel was a caring mom to a little girl. Working her way through college, Jennifer hoped to become an elementary school teacher. Jennifer's boyfriend had a long history of criminal activity, including domestic violence, yet was released on his own recognizance after smashing Jennifer's head into a mirror Tuesday, Aug. 13. Just two nights later, he was found covered in blood after stabbing Jennifer to death in the presence of their four-year-old daughter and neighbors.

While Massachusetts is at the forefront of the war against domestic violence, the recent murder of Jennifer Martel highlights a gaping flaw in the current system. Under M.G.L. 276 sec. 58A, offenders can be released on their own recognizance, without any bail set, within 24 hours of an assault. An emergency restraining ordered was issued against Jennifer's assailant, but since Jennifer did not appear in court the day after she was attacked, her assailant was released without bail on his on recognizance.

When I heard about Jennifer's murder, I was moved to create this petition. It seems senseless that this beautiful, caring young woman is gone. Something must be done to ensure this never happens again. As a child, I was a victim of domestic violence and witnessed the abuse of my birth-mother as well. Luckily, my father was able to remove me from the situation. Most children are not so lucky.

Females murdered by a current or former partner account for 30% of homicides against women each year. In many instances of intimate partner homicide, domestic violence is a precursor to murder. More often than not, victims of domestic violence do not take action against their abusers for a number of reasons, including fear of retaliation. Known abusers should not be allowed to walk free without bail within 24 hours of a repeat offense. Special concern should be warranted when there is a child in the home, as well. 

I am asking for your signature on this petition, in order to prompt the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to close the loophole that allows repeat, violent offenders to be released without immediate consequence, putting their victims and the public at risk.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 150,000 signatures
    2. New Article

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer

      Another article promoting our cause! Keep signing, sharing, changing!!

      Brookline Resident's Petition to Change Loophole in Law Gains Widespread Support

      Most people reading a story like Jennifer Martel's would have shaken their heads in disgust, maybe left a message of support for Jennifer's family in the comments section, and then moved on to the next news story. But Ms. Williams decided to do something about it.

    3. Legislation

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer

      Wow! I'm so impressed with the overwhelming response we've seen supporting this petition. Thank you all for taking the time to help institute change. After meeting with Rep. Smizik, I am pleased to announce that he is enthusiastic about our cause and will be working with us to ensure legislation is introduced to amend this loophole. Our work is not done! Keep signing and sharing - the more signatures we have the louder our voice is propelling change!

    4. Reached 100,000 signatures
    5. Rep. Frank Smizik

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer

      On Friday morning, I will be meeting with my state representative, Frank Smizik, in order to discuss the petition. I will let you know any further developments as soon as they're available. Sign, Share, Change!

    6. Reached 30,000 signatures
    7. Local Representative

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer

      Our original goal was to reach 1,000 signatures and I am happy to say we have met and surpassed it in less than a week! Shortly, I will be contacting my local representative to present him with our petition. Please continue to sign and share, as this will keep helping our cause.

    8. Reached 1,000 signatures
    9. Boston Magazine Article

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer

      I didn't even know they had written this article until I found it on Google! Keep signing, sharing, changing!!

      Petition Calls For Change to Domestic Violence Law After Martel Murder

      Following the murder of a Waltham woman, residents decided to step in to try and fix a "gaping flaw" in the state law. Outraged by the fact that the man accused of murdering a Waltham woman just a day after he was let out of jail for allegedly assaulting her, people are calling for changes in state law when it comes to offenders being released after committing certain crimes.

    10. Reached 750 signatures
    11. Media Outreach

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer

      A segment will be aired at 9:00 p.m. ET tonight on NECN regarding the petition. In addition, tomorrow's Boston Herald will have an article about our efforts. Keep signing, sharing, changing!

    12. Reached 250 signatures
    13. Not Just for Massachusetts

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer

      Even if you're not a resident of Massachusetts, please sign the petition. Great change can be brought to our nation and even our world with small steps. Once we are able to change the laws here, we can continue this movement for the rest of those in need.

    14. Reached 25 signatures
    15. Video to Spread the Word

      Fallon Williams
      Petition Organizer
      Honoring Jennifer Martel

      http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-repeat-offenders-from-being-released-on-their-own-recognizance# Sign the petition to honor Jennifer Martel by ensuring that repeat offenders are no longer released on personal recognizance. *I do not own the song within the video, it is the property of Sarah McLachlan*

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jennifer Markens ASHFIELD, MA
      • 3 months ago

      We now have a political machine that is enabling abuse of human beings. Healthy men do not express their anger by abusing others. Men who are violent are also more likely to abuse and molest children, because they see others as objects.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jamie Tubmen ABINGDON, VA
      • 3 months ago

      I have three daughters and 4 grand-daughters!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mary Rose SOMERS POINT, NJ
      • 3 months ago

      I lost my only child, a daughter, due to domestic violence. He had hurt her before but she kept it to herself.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mary Rose SOMERS POINT, NJ
      • 3 months ago

      I lost my only child, a daughter...Domestic violence was the culprit.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kristina S ROHNERT PARK, CA
      • 3 months ago

      survivor!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.