The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 31, 2013

Our View: Passing Monica’s Law

The Joplin Globe

— It’s more than an outcry. It’s more than the work of well-intentioned friends. And now, it’s more than just a mission.

Friends and former co-workers of Monica Webb, a Joplin woman who authorities say was killed by her husband late last year, are using the power of social media to ramp up their message. Through the Facebook page, On a Mission for Monica, they are rallying a grass-roots effort for change. They are also circulating petitions statewide calling for creation of a task force that would deal proactively with cases of domestic violence.

The proposal, if passed, would be called Monica’s Law, a reminder of the young, vibrant mother who sought protection from her estranged husband.

Webb, 36, had reported that her estranged husband, Rondias Webb, 35, violated a protection order Nov. 4 when he approached her in a bar and informed her that he knew where she had moved to get away from him. The reporting of the violation led to the mailing of a summons to Rondias Webb and not the issuance of an arrest warrant.

Monica Webb’s report was made less than two weeks before her husband allegedly shot and killed her inside her new home Nov. 17.

Petitions are being signed and will be presented to state legislators in hopes that a law will be passed that, among other things, will treat violators of protection orders as immediate threats, issue and serve warrants in a timely manner, and require that violators be held for 12 hours.

Would this have saved Monica Webb’s life? No one knows, but the proposal is an aggressive step toward defusing domestic violence.

Journalists don’t sign petitions. But newspaper editorial boards can put ink behind citizen-driven efforts when current laws just aren’t enough.

Consider this our signature.