For Immediate Release Contact: Sandy Galef
Galef Helps Passage of Legislation to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence
(May 9, 2013) Assemblywoman Sandy Galef announced that legislation passed in the Assembly to provide additional protection under law to victims of domestic violence. These bills, two of which she sponsored, are part of a larger legislative package. All bills in the package have passed the Assembly and have been delivered to the Senate.
In New York State about 450,000 incidents of domestic violence occur and are actually reported each year, with over 300,000 orders of protection being issued in response to these reports. The bills that were sponsored by Assemblywoman Galef specifically prevent any discrimination against the victims of abuse and anyone that has been issued an order of protection.
“Instances of domestic violence devastate families in both mental and physical ways,” said Assemblywoman Galef. “It is our responsibility not only to help crack down on domestic violence, but also to protect the victims as much as possible.”
Bills that have passed the Assembly include: A.898 and A.6457-A. A.898 further provides a definition for a “victim of domestic violence,” and prevents employers from discriminating against victims based on their victim status either by refusing to hire them or discharging them from employment. A.6457-A, ensures that if a protected party chooses to contact a party that an order of protection is issued against, the order is not nullified, which continues to ensure that the protected party remains protected and no charges are brought against the protected party.
Additional bills in the legislative package deal with the prohibition of housing discrimination, the assurance that orders of protection are translated into any necessary language for the full understanding by the involved parties, the requirement of hospitals to develop policies in regard to domestic violence, and the assurance that orders of protection are enforced.
Another bill in this legislative package, A.6390, is an extension of the recently introduced gun-control oriented New York Safe Act, as it adds certain family offenses to the list of “serious offenses,” which would then make it illegal for an individual who committed such acts to purchase or possess a firearm.
“The harm that domestic abuse causes goes far beyond the obvious physical injuries,” concluded Galef. “Victims do not often have the support necessary to get through such a difficult part of their life, and the legislature is now providing some of that support by strengthening domestic violence laws to help victims and all those impacted by this violence.”