Domestic Violence Crisis Requires Diverse Solutions

The trauma of domestic violence is invasive and can last a lifetime. It requires immediate action on community, legislative and judicial levels. Last fall, the Assembly Minority Conference brought together victims, advocates, service providers and law enforcement officials to identify gaps in the system and develop solutions aimed at protecting those suffering from domestic violence and preventing it from continuing.
 
Our regional task force meetings strengthened our understanding of this horrible reality and helped crystalize what we already knew: domestic violence is a growing epidemic that requires a diverse set of remedies. With tremendous input from those dealing with domestic violence’s day-to-day ramifications, we were able to generate a comprehensive policy proposal. The result of our efforts is a detailed report— A Safe Haven: Helping Abuse Victims and Enhancing Protections— enumerating our legislative solutions.
 
ASSEMBLY MINORITY OFFERS RECOMMENDATIONS 
 
Enabling victims to communicate safely, find necessary shelter and protect themselves and their loved ones is critical. And, justice must be served to those who choose to abuse others. To protect victims of abuse and stand up for what is right, we will fight hard for legislative solutions, including:

  • Creating a new statute designating an enhanced Domestic Violence Crime;
  • Creating a new “Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child” crime;
  • Creating a standardized warning process for serving an order of protection;
  • Permitting courts to award temporary spousal support when issuing a temporary order of protection;
  • Increasing access to temporary housing for victims of domestic violence;
  • Expanding the current Family Justice Center model and creating a fully-funded, state-based program that will allow Domestic Violence Crisis Centers to ensure safe support services are more accessible to victims;
  • Creating a statewide education campaign to promote healthy relationships and inform students of the warning signs of domestic violence; and
  • Prioritizing funding for programs aimed at providing shelter, benefits and training for victims and advocates.

THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW
 
According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. That is a terrifying statistic. Domestic violence impacts families in every economic class, background, city, town and village.

In addition to the measures developed by our Task Force, I have staunchly supported the Domestic Violence Prevention Act – also known as Brittany’s Law – which would create a registry of violent felony offenders. The more we can do to address the problem head-on, the more lives we can save.
 
Domestic violence carries physical and psychological implications that, for too many, linger for decades. In many cases, the impact spans generations. Strong, decisive action is needed to prevent domestic violence from destroying families across New York.
 
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@nyassembly.gov, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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