An online petition to reform domestic violence laws following the death of Amie Harwick, a prominent marriage and family therapist who authorities allege was attacked by an ex-boyfriend, had attracted more than 16,000 supporters as of Tuesday afternoon — including Harwick’s former fiance, TV star Drew Carey.
Carey endorsed the “Justice 4 Amie” petition on Twitter, asking his more than 600,000 followers to sign and support the effort. The “Price Is Right” host had previously said in a statement that he was “overcome with grief” over Harwick’s death.
The proposals outlined in the petition, which is addressed to a cadre of California lawmakers and elected officials, include requiring mandatory in-person, long-term counseling for domestic violence perpetrators; providing accommodations so victims do not have to testify in close proximity to their abusers; and establishing a registry, similar to the one in place for sex offenders, “to warn others of the deviant behavior.”
Diana Arias, who started the petition, wrote that “domestic violence is a serious concern for everyone” and Harwick “was murdered as a result of poor laws not protecting the victims and treating the offenders.”
“I refuse to let her death be in vain,” Arias wrote.
Harwick, 38, died of blunt force injuries to her head and torso after she was attacked at her Hollywood Hills home, officials said. Authorities allege that her ex-boyfriend Gareth Pursehouse, 41, of Playa del Rey attacked her early Saturday morning.
Officers found Harwick on the ground, beneath a third-story balcony at a home in the 2000 block of Mound Street. She had suffered grave injuries consistent with a fall, police said, and was taken to a hospital, where she later died.
According to a statement, investigators found possible evidence of a struggle in the home. Pursehouse was arrested on suspicion of murder and was being held on $2-million bail, county jail records show.
Pursehouse and Harwick had shared a home for a couple of years a decade ago, friends said, but their relationship deteriorated and Harwick twice applied for restraining orders against him, according to court records.
Times staff writers Hannah Fry and Harriet Ryan contributed to this report.