Assemblymember Kevin Cahill: New Legislation Protects Victims of Domestic Violence

Assembly honors anniversary of New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
February 9, 2004

On the 25th anniversary of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess County) noted the passage of several bills to protect victims of domestic violence and their families.

"Domestic violence affects all aspects of the lives of victims and their families," Mr. Cahill said. "From safety to housing to privacy, we should do our best to help them return to the community without a sense of fear. Passing these initiatives helps achieve this goal."

According to the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, battering is the major cause of injury to women aged 14-45, causing more injuries than auto accidents, muggings and rapes combined; and up to 70 percent of men who abuse their partner also abuse their children.

The Assembly this week passed several pieces of legislation that seek to protect victims of domestic violence and their families:

Safeguarding the privacy and safety of victims of domestic violence

  • Authorizing voter registration records of domestic violence victims, including address information, to be kept confidential in certain cases affording victims the security they deserve (A.3221);
  • Punishing unauthorized disclosure of confidential information regarding pending orders of protection and family offense warrants (A.4881);

Helping families secure housing and stay together

  • Prohibiting housing discrimination against domestic violence victims helping victims to begin getting their lives back on track and preventing a significant cause of homelessness for women (A.8135-A);
  • Allowing domestic violence victims residing in emergency or temporary lodging, such as a shelter or motel, to go to a local family court for assistance (A.5513);
  • Broadening the definition of "members of the same family or household" for groups seeking the protection of shelters for victims of domestic violence helping families stay together (A.2235);

Protecting families from violence

  • Strengthening laws requiring those who violate an order of protection to surrender their firearms and firearm licenses (A.3337); and
  • Stopping the clock on the length of orders of protection when an abuser is in jail (A.7863).

"These bills help families stay together and protect them from further violence," Assemblymember Cahill said. "I urge the Governor and the Senate to act quickly and turn these beneficial initiatives into law."

For more information about preventing domestic violence, visit www.nyscadv.org/about.htm, or call the NYSCADV office at (518) 482-5465. The NYSCADV also has a Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-942-6906 (1-800-942-6908 for Spanish).