On September 20, 2017 Matthew Darby broke into Alina Sheykhet’s home. She filed for a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) and on October 5th the judge told her he was very concerned for her safety and thought Darby was a danger to her. He was sadly right. Three days later on October 8, Darby violated the PFA and broke into Alina’s home again, brutally killing her at the young age of 20.
Alina loved everyone that crossed paths with her and it was hard to not feel the same back. She loved helping people in anyway she could, and Alina’s Law would be doing just that. Helping people through a scary time so that what happened to her doesn’t ever have to happen again. So no one else’s family and friends ever have to lose a loved one the way we did.
A Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) is a document that is signed by a judge and tells your abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence to both women and men victims. District Attorney Stephen Zappala believes that laws regarding PFA’s and domestic violence need to be strengthened and if these laws were set in place, they could have helped save Alina’s life.
Some proposed changes that would be included in the law are allowing judges to require defendants in PFA orders to wear electronic monitoring devices if they present a risk of violating the PFA. The proposal for this was approved with a 50-0 vote in the Senate, and will be called "Alina's Law" if passed through all chains. With this law, it will be determined case-by-case by a Judge if they believe a person is a risk. They also want to increase the grading, and therefore punishment, for crimes in which the victim has an existing protection from abuse order against the offender. Another proposed change is if a defendant is prohibited by his bond of having contact with a victim, and that condition is broken, a responding officer could arrest him on-sight. Under current law, the DA’s office can ask for a revocation hearing or ask a judge to issue an arrest warrant but both take several days.
Lets all stand together, with Alina, in putting a stop to violence!