District Attorney pushes for tougher laws against domestic violence

Diane J. Savino

February 05, 2010

By Judy L. Randall

February 04, 2010, 5:05PM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- District Attorney Daniel Donovan today asked Staten Island’s state lawmakers to put forth legislation that would make domestic abuse a crime, strengthen orders of protection through GPS technology and hold deadbeat parents accountable.

But the delegation noted that much of what he proposed has been in the legislative pipeline.

They invited Donovan to Albany to speak before members of the Legislature on the topic, but suggested he wait until after the budget is wrapped up in April.

Donovan, a Republican, made his pitch during an hour-long meeting he called in his St. George office with state Senators Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) and Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), and Assembly members Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) Janele Hyer-Spencer (D-Mid-Island/Brooklyn), Lou Tobacco (R-South Shore) and Matthew Titone (D-North Shore).

Donovan said since Jan. 1 there have been 157 domestic violence arrests in the borough.

His office pointed to statistics showing one in four women in the U.S. will experience domestic violence.

“I’ve called you six here because we need you to pass this,” said Donovan.

Ms. Hyer-Spencer, who has made this her signature issue, shared her expertise on the subject and pointed to legislation she Ms. Savino have championed on domestic abuse.

Ms. Hyer-Spencer, an attorney, and Ms. Savino, a former social worker, worked in the field before their legislative careers.

Cusick also noted legislation he’s written to develop curriculum in the public schools concerning domestic violence among dating teens.

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