NEW YORK -- Following the report in today's Daily News that domestic violence cases have jumped 12.3% in New York City, State Senator Daniel Squadron (Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan) renewed his call for passage of legislation to increase penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders:
Today's report on rising domestic violence must be a call to action: Give law enforcement the tools they need to protect victims and families from this horrific trend now.
Abusers are able to rack up domestic violence offenses while their victims are not protected. This bill will elevate repeat offenses to a felony and protect victims. In my district, Officer Alain Schaberger was killed by a repeat domestic violence offender. We must act for the sake of Officer Schaberger and all victims across New York.
The legislation - S.5617A /A.1986 - would give district attorneys the tools to crack down on recurring violence and abuse by creating the felony-level crime of "aggravated domestic violence" for offenders who commit two or more offenses within five years. Currently, only offenders who cause serious physical injury or kill their victims face felony-level charges and, therefore, repeat offenders are charged with low-level misdemeanors that repeatedly put them back out on the streets.
The bill is dedicated to NYPD Officer Alain Schaberger, who was killed in March responding to a domestic violence call in Brooklyn, which today's report found was home to the greatest number of cases. Officer Schaberger was thrown over a staircase railing by a serial domestic abuser who had a 12-year history of offenses.
Media Contact: Amy Spitalnick / 212.298.5565