Rosenthal/Squadron Bill Ensures Social Services Recipients Receive Critical Sexual Assault Information

Velmanette Montgomery

September 17, 2009

New York, NY –Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF, Manhattan) and State Senator Daniel Squadron announced that yesterday Governor Paterson signed into law a bill (A3378/S4077) requiring local social service districts to inform all people applying for public assistance of their option to receive information on resources for victims of sexual abuse and assault.

The new law will ensure that individuals who have experienced sexual abuse or assault have the knowledge they need to seek help and protect themselves from further harm.  The information packet will contain a listing of all local sexual assault examiner programs, including a list of any local hospitals offering sexual assault forensic examiner services, rape crisis centers, and other advocacy, counseling and hotline services appropriate for victims of sexual assault.

Assemblymember Rosenthal, sponsor of the bill, said, “Studies have shown that a disproportionately large number of women on public assistance have experienced sexual abuse as children. Victims of sexual assault often feel alone and don’t know their options for treatment and support.  After years of advocacy on this issue, I hope this law will shine the light on social services available to these victims and ensure they receive the help they need.”

State Senator Squadron, who was also a sponsor of the bill, said, “For too many victims of sexual assault, help is hard to come by. Providing support for public assistance applicants who have been victims will improve countless lives and help more New Yorkers work towards stability and self-sufficiency. I was proud to work with Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal to pass this legislation and I am proud to see it become law today.”