Urges Colleagues to Support Legislation to Protect Our Children
Brooklyn- Responding to a recent case of physical child abuse of a 17 month old child in Brooklyn that has left the child hospitalized, State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is calling on the State Legislature to act on two pieces of legislation he has introduced in the State Senate designed to combat child abuse throughout New York.
Senator Golden has introduced a bill, S. 2163, that will establish a temporary commission to study child abuse prevention and make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature for the implementation of child abuse prevention programs across New York State.
Additionally, Senator Golden is sponsoring S. 1990, which seeks to amend the State’s penal law so to make the murder of a child under the age of twelve a first degree offense, and at the same time, make the definition of torture to mean the intentional and depraved infliction of extreme physical pain.
Since 2000, child abuse has risen by more than 20% across New York State and more than 75 children die as a result of abuse or neglect annually. Approximately 12,000 children in New York State receive injuries as a result of abuse, with many having chronic health and emotional problems, as well as learning disabilities. The cycle of violence continues for many victims of child abuse who statistics show have higher rates of juvenile crime, delinquency and involvement with domestic violence later in their life.
Senator Marty Golden, a former New York City Police Officer, stated, “There is no place in our homes, schools or society for child abuse, and it is happening too often here in New York. Intervention and counseling can go a long way in preventing instances of child abuse. We need to figure out how to reverse the trend that is damaging families and our society and we must do all we can to protect our children.”
Programs designed to prevent child abuse also address other aspects of family dynamics that threaten child and family well-being. These threats include preventable health conditions such as low birth weight, infant mortality, drug-addicted babies and more. These programs often provide referrals, education, expertise and most importantly stability for at-risk families. Some of the programs offered also focus on training for new parents.
Preventive programs have proven to be effective, but are currently only available to a small number of families at risk of abuse and neglect. Home visitations are only available to about 10% to 14% of eligible families. The temporary Commission would study the availability of successful prevention programs and recommend to the Governor and the State Legislature as to the best way to expand their services to more families at risk.
Senator Golden concluded, “The most recent case of child abuse reported in Brooklyn has horrified all New Yorkers. I am hopeful that both of these important pieces of legislation will win the legislative support of my colleagues in both the Senate and the Assembly, so that the work can begin to prevent abuse of children and save families here in New York State. ”
There are approximately 80,000 children found to be victims of child abuse and neglect each year in New York State. There are more than 33,000 of these cases annually in New York City and 6,000 in Brooklyn.