Graf Sponsors Bill To Protect Victims of Domestic Violence

May 22, 2012

Assemblyman Al Graf attends the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new headquarters of the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Assemblyman Al Graf (R,C-Holbrook) recently participated in the opening of the new Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Domestic abuse is a deep-rooted concern to the well-being of our community. As a former police officer, Assemblyman Graf has seen the detrimental impact for families who suffer through such abuse. He is committed to do all he can to break the cycle, which can become generational, and he has submitted new legislation as a key part of that effort.

Assemblyman Graf is sponsoring legislation titled “Melinda’s Law,” which would provide a safe harbor for victims of domestic violence to report abuse without fear of losing custody of their children. Abusive spouses often prevent their victims from reporting violence by threatening that Child Protective Services (CPS) will remove their children from their home.

“It takes tremendous courage and strength to stand up to an abusive spouse and initiate legal intervention when violence threatens to destroy your life and your family,” said Graf. “This task is made even more difficult when faced with the possibility of losing your children to CPS. Melinda’s Law would give victims the legal protection they need to put a stop to violence in their home while maintaining custody of their children. For a loving, nurturing parent, suffering physical harm is often a more appealing choice than jeopardizing their ability to raise and provide for their children. This bill is the kind of assistance these parents need to protect themselves, their children and their family.”