6/16/2010: Domestic Violence Survivors

Shirley L. Huntley

June 15, 2010

Legislative package establishes stronger rights, strengthens services

Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority has passed a package of 12 bills to address the causes and effects of domestic violence in New York. These bills will significantly enhance domestic violence survivors’ safety, improve state services available, and strengthen penalties against those who inflict the pain of domestic violence on others. Measures included in the Majority’s package will:

Increase penalties for witness tampering and repeat offenders of orders of protection.

Prohibit housing and employment discrimination of a survivor based on the violence they may have endured.

Protect survivors’ identities from leaking to the public, or found via FOIL request.

Ease the process of courts and law enforcement officials issuing orders of protection.

In New York State approximately 400,000 domestic incidents are reported to police departments. Moreover, 20-percent of total assaults outside New York City in 2008 were committed by “intimate partners.”

Unfortunately, the 2008 numbers are significantly higher across the board than those from 2007; intimate partner homicides increased 25-percent statewide and 45-percent in counties outside of New York City. The 31 Domestic Violence Courts handled more than 31,000 cases in 2008, an increase of nearly 7,000 from 2007.