Geneva- Continuing his aggressive efforts to strengthen victim services and combat domestic violence, New York State Senator Michael Nozzolio today joined local law enforcement officials and domestic violence service providers at a news conference at the Public Safety Building in Geneva to announce that he has secured a $50,000 state grant to assist with domestic violence prevention in the Finger Lakes region.
The $50,000 state grant secured by Senator Nozzolio will restore critical funding for Legal Assistance of the Finger Lakes (LAFL) to re-start their Domestic Violence Project. In 2003, LAFL was forced to cease comprehensive domestic violence prevention services after funding cuts by the U.S. Department of Justice. The funding cuts resulted in an 80% drop in the number of domestic violence victims that LAFL was able to serve.
“In order to stop domestic violence, it is imperative that we provide legal protections for victims,” said Senator Nozzolio, Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee. “Legal Assistance of the Finger Lakes provides essential services to victims and it is vitally important that we support programs that help individuals protect themselves from these horrific crimes.”
The Domestic Violence Project will ensure that victims of domestic violence:
1) receive orders of protection;
2) have the means to resolve other civil law problems that have a direct impact on victim safety;
3) have an attorney if they are unable to secure private representation in divorce proceedings.
“The services that will once again be provided to victims of domestic violence by Legal Assistance of the Finger Lakes are critical and will provide victims with the support they need and deserve. It is a pleasure for me to be able to provide them with this State funding to assist in these important efforts,” continued Nozzolio.
Keith McCafferty, Managing Attorney of Legal Assistance of the Finger Lakes, said, “Senator Nozzolio’s commitment to helping victims of domestic violence is truly inspiring.
With Senator Nozzolio’s assistance, we will be able to re-start the Domestic Violence Program, improving services and support for the victims and survivors of domestic violence.”
LAFL was established in 1978 to provide legal services for low-income people and is affiliated with Legal Assistance of Western New York, a private, non-profit corporation serving fourteen counties in Western New York. Domestic violence is a crime that crosses all ethnic, age, religious and socioeconomic boundaries. Studies have shown that children who witness violence at home display a number of behavioral disturbances including high rates of juvenile delinquency and low self-esteem.
As Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee, Senator Nozzolio is a leading proponent of victims’ rights and has been instrumental in fighting for increased penalties for sex offenders and improved services and support for crime victims. His numerous accomplishments on behalf of victims of sexual assault include the passage of Megan’s Law, the Sexual Assault Reform Act, the Sex Offender Reform Act, the Sex Offender Community Safety Act and the Domestic Violence Prevention and Family Protection Act.
“The men and women that provide support for victims of domestic violence are to be commended for their dedication and it is a pleasure for me to provide them with this important State funding to assist them in their efforts,” continued Nozzolio.
“Raising awareness of domestic violence is necessary to educate citizens on the prevalence of the crime as well as the opportunities available for victim assistance. We need to remember victims of domestic violence, including those whose lives were lost as a result of family violence. In their honor, we renew our vow to protect individuals and children from a crime that undermines the core of a family and destroys the lives around it,” Senator Nozzolio concluded.