June 12, 2012

Statement from Speaker Silver on Passage of Legislation to Protect
Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a major problem in New York with more than 400,000 incidents reported annually. The Assembly has a longstanding commitment to ending the cycle of abuse caused by domestic violence, through strong, comprehensive legislation.

Earlier in the 2012 legislative session, the Assembly passed similar measures to protect victims and toughen punishments of abusers. The measures, which are addressed in this agreement, include the creation of a felony-level offense for repeat offenders, requiring judges to consider additional risk factors such as access to firearms and previous violations when considering bail, and enhancing the confidentiality of victims.

The high incidence of repeat offenders of domestic violence in New York is alarming and unacceptable. I am pleased that Governor Cuomo and our colleagues in the Senate have joined us in the fight to protect victims of abuse. This agreement will enable us to effectively prosecute cases of repeat abuse, reduce future incidents, and, ultimately, protect victims.