Senator Webb and the Senate Majority to Pass Legislation Protecting the Rights of Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors

Lea Webb

May 14, 2024

Senator Webb and the Senate Majority to Pass Legislation Protecting the Rights of Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors

(Binghamton, NY) Today, Senator Webb and the Senate Democratic Majority will pass legislation to strengthen the rights of victims of domestic and sexual violence and strengthen protections for survivors. This legislation builds on the Senate Majority's recent victories in helping secure $35.7 million in the FY 2024-2025 budget to combat and prosecute domestic violence crimes, and enacting New York’s “Rape is Rape” Act at the beginning of this year to significantly expand the gamut of assaults that would be legally classified as rape. We want to close all existing legal loopholes that prevent our State’s courageous survivors from seeking and receiving the justice that they deserve. 

This package contains legislation that would prevent the voluntary intoxication of a victim from being used as a permissible defense in sex crimes; require extreme risk protection orders to be added to the statewide computerized registry of protection orders; clarify and expand the definition of "welfare" to increase the amount for awards made to crime victims; inform the victims of crimes of their rights upon conviction. These changes will make a significant difference in the lives of survivors, and help ensure that true justice and accountability are afforded to each affected individual.

 “As the Chair of Women’s Issues, an advocate for social justice and a public servant, I believe that the voices of victims and survivors of Domestic Violence deserve to be heard and supported,” said Senator Lea Webb. This issue is pervasive throughout our communities and state, our legislative efforts are integral in providing more equitable policies and resources to those impacted and their families. Thank you to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for continuing to prioritize justice with this package of legislation. I am proud to sponsor two bills in this package of legislation to ensure we are protecting victims of crimes in every way we can.”

The legislation passed by Senator Webb and the Senate Democratic Majority includes:

  • Combatting Coerced Consumer Debt: Ths bill, S2278A, sponsored by Senator Cordell Cleare, would protect survivors of domestic violence and others who have been victims of economic abuse by establishing a right of action for claims arising out coerced debt. 
  • Removing ‘Voluntary Intoxication’ Exclusion: This bill, S4555B, sponsored by Senator Nathalia Fernández, would prohibit the use of the intoxication of victims as a defense in sex crimes, and establish that a person who is voluntarily intoxicated can be incapable of consent. 
  • Removal of Time Period for Persisent Sexual Abuse Definition: This bill, S1951, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal removes the ten year lookback time period limit in relation to being defined as a person who has committed persistent sexual abuse.
  • Requirements for ERPO Reports: This bill, S3340, sponsored by Senator 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.
  • Expands Definition of “Welfare” for Reimbursement of a Victim’s Personal Property: This bill, S303, sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar would expand the definition of "welfare" in order to enable victims of crime to receive reimbursement for personal property that has been lost, damaged, or stolen as a result of a crime. The reimbursement or replacement of such property is meant to assist the victim in regaining stability and maintaining a reasonable standard of living.
  • Victims’ Rights Disclosures: This bill, S5502, sponsored by Senator 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.
  • Notifying Victims about Final Verdict: This bill, S1815, sponsored by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, requires victims to be notified about the final disposition of their case within sixty days following a conviction, and notifies them about their right to make a victim impact statement, which they have the option to personally read at parole hearings.
  • Forfeiture of Convicted Beneficiaries Rights: This bill, S5131, sponsored by Senator Lea Webb would prevent named beneficiaries, who commit an act of domestic violence against a state or city retiree, from receiving any pension benefits
  • Lethality Assessment of Domestic Violence: This bill, S8977, sponsored by Senator Webb would require law enforcement officers to conduct a lethality assessment as part of the standardized domestic incident report form when responding to incidents of domestic violence.



Watch Remarks by Senator Lea Webb: