A bill that would would provide victims of domestic violence greater protection by allowing them to testify in court via closed-circuit television, sponsored by State Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C - Olean), has passed the State Senate.
"Violent abusers can terrify and intimidate their victims during court proceedings," said Senator Young. "To break the cycle of abuse, victims should be in a non-threatening environment when giving testimony. They shouldn’t be stared down by someone who has physically and emotionally tortured them. Closed circuit testimony will help ensure that justice will be served."
Senator Young’s legislation was originally introduced in April at a Capitol news conference, in observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, where members of the Senate Majority were joined by Mrs. New York State 2007 Lori Donaudy of Smithtown, Long Island. A former victim of domestic abuse, Lori’s platform as Mrs. New York includes raising awareness of domestic violence, supporting victims, and raising funds for Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation. In addition, October is
Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Over two-thirds of domestic violence crimes against women are committed by someone known to them. Very often, vulnerable witnesses are reluctant to testify about crimes that have been committed against them out of fear. Allowing these witnesses to testify via closed-circuit television may help their willingness to come forward and testify.
The bill was sent to the Assembly.
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