Local parents fighting for teen domestic violence protection
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- A mother is fighting for a change after she says domestic violence claimed her daughter's life.
South Carolina ranks first in the nation for the number of women murdered by men. It's a statistic that hits home for Robert and Jessica Landry. Police say their 17-year-old daughter was shot to death by her boyfriend last December in Lancaster County.
Their daughter, Sierra Landry, couldn't file an Order of Protection against her boyfriend because she was a minor. Now her parents want to change the Domestic violence Laws in South Carolina.
"If you are 18 and under you have no protection," said Robert Landry.
The Landrys say their daughter's boyfriend shot their daughter in the face.
"He told her, 'If you can't love me, you will not love anyone,' and shot her," said her mother, Jessica Landry. "She was found laid out on someone's yard."
Her boyfriend, 18-year-old Tanner Crolley, is charged with murder in Sierra's death.
Now six months later, the family moved to Summerville and plans to continue their fight for stronger domestic violence laws.
The two started an online petition called Sierra's Law that would allow teens 16 and older to file for an Order of Protection, allow teens under 16 to file with a parent's consent, and create a registry, like sex offenders, for abusers with a history of domestic violence.
"If you get caught breaking an order of protection if can lead from anything to a misdemeanor or a felony with automatic arrest," said Robert Landry.
It's something the Landrys say could have saved their daughter life. So far the Landrys have 300,000 supporters for their petition.
"Look at our daughter now: she's not here with us because she had no way out and no way to go," said Mrs. Landry. "I know a lot of people say it's just a piece of paper, but at least that Order of Protection is going to make more people think twice before they decide to hurt someone."
In the state of South Carolina, single women who are dating cannot file for an Order of Protection. Only women who are married and living with -- or have a child with -- the alleged abuser can file.
Sierra's Law is expected to be introduced to the state this December.