Maryland lawmakers are hearing from victims of domestic violence about how several changes in the law would increase protections for them.
A Senate panel held a hearing on the measures Tuesday. Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration is highlighting three bills in particular.
One would make it easier for victims to obtain a protective order by changing the standard of evidence needed to get one.
Another would change the law to add second-degree assault to the list of crimes for which a person can obtain a final protective order.
A third measure would enable courts to impose an additional five years in prison on someone who commits domestic violence in front of a child.