New York bills passed to improve protections for survivors of domestic, sexual violence

By Kate Lisa

New York state senators voted to pass 10 bills Tuesday to embolden protections for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in wake of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The legislation package includes a measure to require housing authorities to prioritize survivors of domestic abuse with the same weight as low-income and minority groups and other underprivileged communities if they are placed on a housing waiting list.

Senators passed seven other bills included in the legislation package to improve justice and accountability for survivors:

  • Removal of Time Period for Persisent Sexual Abuse Definition: This bill, S1951, sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal removes the ten year lookback period in relation to being defined as a person who has committed persistent sexual abuse.

  • Requirements for ERPO Reports: This bill, S3340, sponsored by Sen. Shelley B. Mayer requires extreme risk protection orders to be reported to the statewide computerized registry of orders of protection and certain warrants of arrest.

  • Expanded Eligibility for Victim Compensation Funds: This bill, S214-A, sponsored by Sen. Zellnor Myrie, expands eligibility for victims and survivors of crime to access victim compensation funds by removing the mandatory law enforcement reporting requirement, providing alternative forms of evidence that would show that a qualifying crime was committed and the confidentiality of certain records.

  • Enacting the New York State Phoenix Act: This bill, S4686, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Parker enacts the "New York State Phoenix Act," which extends the statute of limitations for felony family offenses to ten years and misdemeanor family offenses to five years.

  • Victims’ Rights Disclosures: This bill, S5502, sponsored by Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton would provide additional rights to crime victims and require the court or district attorney, either at sentencing or at the earliest time possible, to provide the victims of said crime with an informational sheet explaining their rights.


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