Together We Can End Domestic Violence

Sadly, the tragic impact of domestic violence reaches deep into our society. Each year, thousands are forced to endure abuse at the hands of their intimate partner. It is a reality that must be addressed with strong public safety laws and abundant resources and support for victims. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to focus on strategies to combat the verbal and physical intimate partner abuse that tears at the fabric of our families and communities.
 
Domestic violence includes a number of different behaviors abusive parties exhibit to gain control over their victims. Threats, isolation and sexual abuse, among other tactics, have devastating and lasting impacts on victims. As a legislative leader I have fought hard to improve the tools New York has to deal with domestic abuse.
 
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PERMEATES TOO FAR INTO OUR COMMUNITIES
 
According to the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, nearly half the women murdered in New York State are killed by an intimate partner. In the U.S., nearly one in every four women report violence at the hands of a current or former boyfriend or spouse. Simply put, this is unacceptable.
 
“Shine the Light on Domestic Violence,” a New York State campaign now in its eighth year, offers resources for those who know someone or are dealing with domestic violence themselves. For information and resources visit http://opdv.ny.gov/index.html.
 
BRITTANY’S LAW WILL HELP PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 
 
Brittany’s Law would create a registry of violent offenders much like the state’s sex offender registry. Unfortunately, despite passing in the Senate seven straight years and having bipartisan support in the Assembly, the bill has failed to make it to the governor’s desk. New York City has a registry of animal abusers, yet this potentially life-saving law has been blocked year after year. Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther is the Assembly Majority sponsor of the bill (A.1833), which I proudly co-sponsor. It is unconscionable this bill continues to needlessly stall in the Assembly.
 
Brittany’s Law was born out of a tragedy in our district. In 2009, 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua was murdered along with her mother, Helen Buchel, in Geneva. The two were killed by John Edward Brown, a parolee who served time for violently assaulting his infant daughter years earlier. Ms. Buchel was unaware of Brown’s violent history. Brittany’s Law could have helped prevent these two senseless murders. I urge all lawmakers to make 2017 the year Brittany’s Law is finally added as a tool to prevent domestic violence.
 
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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