2015 Public policy priorities

Released January 14, 2015

ABOUT NYSCADV & THE NYSCADV PUBLIC POLICY PROJECT

The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) is a statewide membership organization comprised of local domestic violence service providers, allies, and community members committed to ending domestic violence through education, advocacy, and social change. Founded in 1978, NYSCADV works to create and support the social change necessary to prevent and confront all forms of domestic violence. As a statewide membership organization we achieve our mission through activism, training, prevention, technical assistance, leadership development, legislative development, and advocacy. We promote best practices and broad-based collaboration, integrating anti-oppression principles in all our work.

NYSCADV provides statewide leadership on public policy issues by promoting legislation and advocating for systems and regulatory change in order to improve institutional responses to domestic violence. Goals of the NYSCADV Public Policy Project include  the passage of  state and federal budgets that adequately support the work of local domestic violence programs; the passage of legislation that will enhance the response to domestic violence; and, when necessary, the defeat of legislation that would negatively impact victims of domestic violence and the provision of services to them. NYSCADV also provides assistance to local domestic violence programs to do this work on a local level.

NYSCADV connects with member programs and allies on a variety of legislative initiatives and provides updates on state and national developments. This is done through email and electronic dissemination of NYSCADV Policy Updates and NYSCADV Action Alerts.

NYSCADV’s public policy work is informed by the NYSCADV Legislative Committee which is a key conduit of information and input between member programs, allies, and other experts. The Legislative Committee provides vision and guidance, as well as time and talent, toward the implementation of NYSCADV’s legislative agenda and strategy.

Domestic violence is a complex and pervasive issue, the effects of which ripple through every community. It requires a dynamic and multifaceted response that is capable and willing to change with the needs of victims and their families. NYSCADV’s public policy priorities for 2015 reflect our focus on ensuring that victims of domestic violence have access to trauma-informed, victim centered services and that offenders are held appropriately accountable for the abuse that they perpetrate against their intimate partner(s) and family member(s). This summary of our priorities does not preclude NYSCADV from working on other issues as they arise, or on issues upon which we are already working. Some of these priorities are already being addressed through legislation that has been introduced. Others require discussion and strategizing to identify the best way to address the issues whether through regulation, legislation, or general practice. NYSCADV welcomes interested parties to contact us to be part of the discussion at 518-482-5465 or policy@nyscadv.org.

 NEW YORK STATE CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LEGAL SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS

Our general and ongoing public policy request is that existing laws be properly enforced. New York State has done a tremendous amount of work over the last 40 years to improve the system’s response to domestic violence. These laws were thoughtfully created, but their effectiveness is lost if they are not enforced in a manner that is consistent with the legislative intent. NYSCADV believes ongoing critical analysis among stakeholders regarding the implementation of existing laws is necessary, in order to identify where victim safety and offender accountability can be best promoted.

IMPROVE THE EFFICACY OF TRAINING

The usual suggested remedy to the lack of consistent enforcement is increased attention to training those charged with upholding the laws. We agree that training is necessary and important. However, we must build upon existing training mechanisms to ensure that personnel from all components of the legal system don’t just know about the laws designed to provide victim safety and hold offenders accountable but that they have a deeper understanding of the value and the purpose of these laws.

HOLD LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE FOR PROPER ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW  

Efforts to improve how well existing laws are upheld need to expand beyond training. We ask that law enforcement agencies develop accountability measures within personnel and agency policies that convey the seriousness of proper enforcement of the law. We ask that:

  1. the concerns expressed by victims regarding how they are treated by police to be addressed;

  2. recourse when police do not respond as the law directs them to; and

  3. all police agencies to institute officer involved policies. These are policies that address how the police agency will respond to acts of domestic violence committed by officers and how they will respond when one of their officers is a victim of domestic violence.

For years, the domestic violence movement has been asking for police accountability, but in light of the recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY this is even more important. One of the suggestions in response to these events is for police officers to wear cameras. We believe that this can be a powerful law enforcement accountability tool, but we ask that the use of these be carefully planned to ensure that their use does not negate any privacy concerns that victims of crime may have in their communication with the police.

SUPPORT THE POWER OF ORDERS OF PROTECTION

The effectiveness of orders of protection lies in the enforcement of them. Most violations of any of the conditions that a defendant/respondent must observe are a crime of criminal contempt and are subject to mandatory arrest. Swift and consistent enforcement is the power behind the protection created by these legal documents. Sadly, when proper enforcement does not happen, it diminishes the power of the law and can lead to deadly consequences. Therefore, we ask that victims be allowed to recover both non-economic and economic damages from any and all defendants when law enforcement or municipalities are found to be liable for failing to enforce orders of protection.

IMPROVE THE PETITION PROCESS FOR FAMILY COURT ORDERS OF PROTECTION

To obtain a family court order of protection in New York, one must petition the court in writing and then appear before a judge to attest to the statement of allegations. This emergency (ex-parte) proceeding can be time consuming, and access to the court may be limited in emergency situations. Therefore we ask that New York State allow for counties to designate a remote location where victims can meet with a domestic violence advocate or civil legal service provider. At this location, victims can be informed of their rights and options, and if they choose to do so, they could complete the petition and meet with the judge via video testimony. This will expedite the process and reduce the burden many victims face in getting to the court on an emergency basis.

 PROMOTE JUSTICE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR-DEFENDANTS

The sentencing reform act of 1998, known as Jenna’s Law, eliminated parole for all people convicted of violent felony offenses and required that they serve 6/7ths of their sentence. This act also recognized that survivors of violence incarcerated for defending themselves against abusers pose little risk to public safety. Accordingly, Jenna’s Law has an exception which permits judges to grant indeterminate sentences to domestic violence survivors convicted of homicide and assault crimes against their abusers. The challenge is that this exception only benefits a few. We ask that:

  1. judges be allowed to sentence domestic violence survivors convicted of crimes directly related to the abuse they suffered to shorter prison terms and, in some cases, to community-based alternative-to-incarceration programs instead of prison; and

  2. provide domestic violence survivors currently in prison the opportunity to apply to the courts for resentencing, thereby granting much-deserved relief for incarcerated survivors who pose no threat to public safety.

CONTINUE TO EVALUATE HOW NEW YORK STATE HOLDS OFFENDERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR HARASSMENT AND STALKING

The methods through which domestic violence offenders harass and stalk victims, and the legal ability to hold offenders accountable, has been a topic of much discussion over the past year. In May 2014, portions of New York’s aggravated harassment law were ruled unconstitutional; in July 2014, an Albany County cyber bullying law was ruled unconstitutional; and in December 2014 the United State Supreme Court heard arguments in a case related to Facebook posts. We are thankful that the Governor and both houses of the legislature identified an appropriate resolution to the aggravated harassment law, and that Albany County was able to find a fix to the cyber bullying law. Also, we eagerly await the Supreme Court’s decision in the Facebook case, which is expected by June.

These cases expanded the discussion among stakeholders about how many of the controlling and abusive behaviors domestic violence offenders use against victims are not always considered crimes in New York State. What we can conclude at this point is:

  1. defining intent and the related impact that an action has on an individual in laws related to harassment is complex, challenging, and does not always reflect the experiences of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking;

  2. the existing stalking laws are underutilized, quite possibly because the standards of these crimes are too onerous; and

  3. there are gaps in existing New York State law that leave people unprotected from internet based harassment.

BUILD UPON RECENT CHANGES TO NEW YORK STATE’S BAIL LAWS

The issuance of bail is of particular concern to victims of domestic violence because crimes of domestic violence are fundamentally different from stranger perpetrated crime. Domestic violence is never random, the victim and perpetrator typically have some interdependence, and it is likely that there are multiple events that occur over time. Yet, because New York State’s standard for judges to make bail determinations is based solely on the defendant’s risk of failing to return to court, judges cannot consider the unique nature of domestic violence when making bail determinations. Because of this, victims of domestic violence in New York State are not afforded more comprehensive protection from the court after their offender is arrested for crimes committed against them. Therefore, we ask that:

  1. Judges be allowed to consider public safety when making bail recommendations. Judges should be able to take public safety needs into consideration to support and protect victims of domestic violence. Yet, under current New York State law, judges cannot take public safety - such as the safety of the crime victim and their family – into consideration when determining if a defendant should be released on their own recognizance or if the court should issue bail. This is a gap in the system that must be closed.

  2. Persons who violate orders of protection while on bail will forfeit that bail. Violating an order of protection must be held to a comparable standard of violating a court order to return to court.

SHORE UP THE GAPS IN LAW THAT ALLOW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDERS ACCESS TO FIREARMS

When intimate partner violence is combined with access to firearms, an already potentially lethal combination is often exacerbated. Access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide by more than five times compared to instances where there are no weapons[i]. In addition, abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners[ii]. Homicide data from 2009 shows that in New York State, firearms were used in 25% of domestic violence homicides[iii]. While statistics and headlines speak mostly to victims of domestic violence murdered with guns, they do not account for the victims of domestic violence that are intimidated, threatened, or assaulted by guns, or those who survive shootings. Recognizing the great danger of domestic violence offenders possessing firearms, laws have been created at the federal and state level prohibiting certain offenders from possessing firearms, yet gaps still exist. Therefore we ask that New York State:

  1. evaluate the implementation of existing state laws that prohibit domestic violence offenders from having access to firearms;

  2. reflect federal firearm prohibitions in state law so that these laws are more effectively enforced;

  3. expand background checks to close the firearms private sale loophole; and

  4. identify and implement best practices regarding the actions taken by law enforcement when a judge orders the suspension or revocation of a firearms license in New York State.

 

SUPPORT ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Economic independence is indispensable to safety. Lack of access to economic resources forces victims of domestic violence to be more dependent on their abusers, increasing the power and control that abusers already have. Victims can only attain economic independence if the ordinary pathways for doing so neither discriminate against them nor inhibit their efforts. Currently, there are too many roadblocks for victims of domestic violence to achieve economic independence.

STOP HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Prevent landlords and sellers of property from discriminating against victims of domestic violence based on assumptions about the effect that their tenancy or home ownership may have on property or persons in near proximity, and prevent landlords from evicting victims of domestic violence because of the behavior that their abuser chooses to use.

PREVENT VICTIMS FROM BEING EVICTED FOR CALLING THE POLICE

Discrimination against victims of domestic violence by current and potential landlords is pervasive, but a recent trend is exacerbating this issue. Municipalities throughout New York State and the nation are increasingly enacting ordinances that designate a property as a nuisance when a certain number of police responses or specified crimes and conduct occur in a given time period. This is leading to victims of domestic violence being evicted or threatened with eviction for doing exactly what society expects of them – calling the police. Nuisance ordinances are contradictory to one of the most predominate methods of safety for victims of domestic violence – police intervention. These ordinances increase the power and control abusers already have, and endanger victims, by sending a clear message – call for help and you will lose your housing. These discriminatory practices must stop. Follow this link for a joint memorandum of support for A.1322 Lavine from NYSCADV, Empire Justice Center, and the ACLU's Women's Project.

STRENGTHEN AND EXPAND EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Victims of domestic violence face many barriers in their efforts to establish independence from their abusers, and financial resources are a significant piece of that puzzle. Employment is a critical part of developing and sustaining economic independence. Thus it is critical that we strengthen existing law by detailing that it is illegal to:

  1. bar, discharge, refuse to hire, employ, or license someone because they are a victim of domestic violence; and

  2. inquire if an employee or applicant is a victim of domestic violence, unless that inquiry is for providing assistance to, or making reasonable accommodations for, a victim of domestic violence.

Additionally, employers should be required to make reasonable accommodations for victims of domestic violence that need to take leave from work to tend to issues that are directly related to being abused.

ENSURE FAIR PROCEDURES FOR PERSONS SUED IN CONSUMER CREDIT TRANSACTIONS  

Victims of domestic violence that are subjected to economic abuse often end up with considerable debt and ruined credit. Many victims of domestic violence first learn of the economic abuse committed against them by their abusers when they attempt to establish economic self-sufficiency. Judgments and delinquencies which appear on their credit reports result in denials of housing and employment applications. Others learn about accounts opened fraudulently in their names when they are sued by creditors and debt buyers. Because of this, action must be taken to curb the filing of abusive collection lawsuits, which have a particularly devastating impact on victims of domestic violence.

CREATE PREDICTABILITY AND STABILITY DURING THE DIVORCE PROCESS

A study conducted in 2005 indicates that “domestic violence is the most important factor in divorce decisions: women who are abused are significantly more likely to divorce than women in non-violent marriages” (Bowlus & Seitz, 2006). It is thus vital to have divorce laws that take into consideration the challenges that victims of domestic violence face. Providing consistent, fair, and predictable maintenance awards for vulnerable spouses in New York State can help victims of domestic violence make more informed choices about divorce.

IDENTIFY AND IMPLEMENT MECHANISMS THAT PROMOTE ACCESS TO SAFE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING Safe and affordable housing is closely intertwined into the primary needs of victims of domestic violence. Yet, less than 1% of supportive housing in New York City is designated for victims of domestic violence[iv]. Therefore we ask that the state increase funding to support transitional housing and permanent housing specifically for victims of domestic violence.

 DISMANTLE OPPRESSION BY PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY

 New York has long served as a model for equality and fairness. Seneca Falls, NY, is the home of the first women’s right’s convention which was held in 1848. The Stonewall Inn in New York City is where riots sparked the gay rights movement in 1969. More recently, New York passed LGBT Marriage Equality into law. Yet we still do not have laws that truly prevent discriminatory practices against women and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identified (LGBTQ) individuals.

PROMOTE WOMEN’S EQUALITY TO PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recognizes that “violence against women is inextricably linked to gender-based inequalities.[v]” Ending gender disparity is a critical part of ultimately preventing domestic violence. Viewed in the social collective through myriad lenses, men and women have unequal power. Income disparities, occupational segregation, disproportionate representation in public and private sector leadership positions, disparate legal status, and traditional and popular culture objectification of women exemplify the unequal status and valuing of men and women. These systemic and social constructs of male power are mirrored by social constructions of masculinity that emphasize maintaining power and control, especially in relation to the “objectified other.” This diminishment of women invariably leads to violence and other forms of abuse. Because of this, we ask that the legislature pass laws that will promote women’s equality.

 PROTECT ALL PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF THEIR GENDER EXPRESSION

Consistent with NYSCADV’s anti-oppression principles; we support laws and policies that are designed to promote equal treatment for all people. Sadly, transgender individuals report alarmingly high rates of discrimination, harassment, mistreatment, and abuse in all walks of life. Current New York State and federal law fails to provide protection to this vulnerable population, and does little to address the harassment, discrimination and violence transgender people face on a daily basis. The creation of laws that provide legal protection for all people regardless of gender identity or expression will demonstrate that New York State and the federal government are committed to equal protection.

 

PREVENT INDIVIDUALS FROM BEING EXPLOITED DUE TO VULNERABILITIES

 Oppression is the systematic and pervasive mistreatment of individuals on the basis of their membership in a disadvantaged group. The perpetration of domestic violence is an element of oppression, as power and control are supported and condoned by sexism, racism, heterosexism, cissexism, classism, and ableism. Other forms of oppression significantly impact the experiences of people who are victimized by an intimate partner. When the tactics of abuse intersect with vulnerabilities such as immigration status, age, sexuality, gender identity, or physical/mental ability, the impact of an abuser’s tactics can be even more devastating.

PREVENT EXPLOITATION OF IMMIGRANTS BY CREATING COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM

Immigrants often suffer multiple burdens of discrimination based on gender, immigration status, race, and other factors. This discrimination further exacerbates domestic violence. Immigrants are also vulnerable to being trafficked for sex and/or labor. As unimaginable as it may seem, slavery and bondage are still a pervasive reality in the twenty-first century through the modalities of sex and labor trafficking. When immigrant victims of domestic violence or trafficking seek help, they encounter complex legal issues and limited public benefits under certain conditions. Human trafficking victims are often treated as criminals. The vitriolic debate regarding immigration reform and the enactment of laws that target immigrants further marginalizes immigrant communities. Comprehensive immigration reform is a vital step on the way to preventing the exploitation of immigrants.

HOLD TRAFFICKERS ACCOUNTABLE AND RECOGNIZE THAT YOUTH TRAFFICKED FOR SEX OR LABOR ARE VICTIMS OF CRIME 

In addition to adults, many youth are vulnerable to being trafficked for sex or labor. While accurate data as to how many youth are trafficked for sex or labor is hard to compile, any number is too many. The New York State Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS) describes the “average trafficking victim” as “runaway and homeless youth, children within the foster care system, children with histories of abuse, children with histories of substance abuse, children with disabilities, youth in the juvenile justice system, LGBTQ youth, refugees, immigrants, and non-English-speaking persons[vi].” OCFS also indicates that the majority of trafficking victims are female (80%), over 50% are children, the average age of initial victimization is 13 years old, and it is estimated that 100,000 - 300,000 children that are United State citizens are currently being trafficked[vii].  In order to stop this scourge, sex and labor traffickers must be held accountable as criminals, and victims of trafficking must be treated as victims of crime.

IMPLEMENT POLICIES THAT RECOGNIZE THE UNIQUE DYNAMICS OF ADOLESCENT RELATIONSHIP ABUSE Youth are also subject to dating violence. A youth risk behavior study conducted in 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that “approximately 9% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months before being surveyed[viii]”. Schools must be prepared to address adolescent relationship abuse, therefore we ask all schools in New York State to:

  1. implement model policies that provide guidance about how to respond appropriately and effectively to incidents of adolescent relationship abuse that occur on school grounds. Consider issuing a mandate to all public schools that policies must be in place to not only address adolescent relationship abuse but to institute programming designed to prevent it from happening in the first place.

  2. provide education and support to school administrators and personnel on the prevalence and dynamics of adolescent relationship abuse and the effects that it has on academic achievement and the overall health and wellness of the student body.

  3. provide resources to administrators and school personnel so that they may effectively respond to incidents of violence and abusive or coercive behaviors that occur on school premises, as well as resources and materials that send positive, pro-social messaging about healthy relationship behaviors that help to prevent abuse from happening in the first place.

  4. support local domestic violence service providers in their work with schools and their work with youth who seek their services. Domestic violence service providers in communities throughout New York State are already providing much needed education and awareness to students.

  5. encourage collaboration with domestic violence service providers to offer ongoing prevention education and support to school personnel, parents, and other adult influencers so that healthy relationship messaging is reinforced in a young person’s life by a range of adults who can model positive behavior.

PREVENT AND RESPOND TO DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN LATER LIFE

According to the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, “approximately one in ten older adults living in their homes experience elder abuse each year[ix].”  Abuse in later life is defined as “the willful abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an older adult that is perpetrated by someone in an ongoing relationship (e.g. a spouse, partner, family member, or caregiver) with the victim[x].”  Therefore we need to:

  1. ensure that policies and practices designed to address abuse in later life focus on both offender accountability and victim safety.

  2. hold offenders accountable. Many times, caregiver stress is cited as a reason why abuse in later life occurs, therefore policy and practice tends to focus on minimizing caregiver stress. While reducing caregiver stress may be important, it minimizes offender responsibility and it has the effect of blaming the victim as the being the cause of the stress[xi].

  3. provide funding that expands the ability of domestic violence service providers to offer enhanced services to victims of abuse in later life and that enables collaboration between domestic violence service providers and organizations that work with New York’s older generation.

BUILD THE BRIDGES NECESSARY FOR DISABLED VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO ACCESS SERVICES

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, persons with disabilities were victims of approximately 40,000 rapes, 116,000 robberies, 115,000 aggravated assaults, and 459,000 simple assaults[xii]. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women with disabilities are more likely to have someone perpetrate domestic violence and sexual assault against them then women without disabilities[xiii]. In addition, research suggests that when persons with disabilities are abused, the abuse is both more severe and lasts for longer periods of time[xiv]. Abusers also tend to use unique tactics of abuse against persons with disabilities, such as withholding wheelchairs, medication, transportation and other assistive technology. In addition, persons with disabilities face additional barriers to finding safety, including fewer community options and limited access to any services that may exist in their community. Domestic violence service providers need support to adequately meet the needs of victims of domestic violence who also have a disability. This can be done by:

  1. providing funding for capital improvements of domestic violence shelters. Many of New York State’s domestic violence shelters were built/established nearly forty years ago, and the state has not supported programs enough to fully revamp the aging structures in which domestic violence services are offered. Therefore we ask that the state provide funding to domestic violence service providers to help improve their accessibility.

  2. providing funding that expands the ability of domestic violence service providers to offer enhanced services to disabled victims of domestic violence and to collaborate with organizations that provide services to New Yorkers with disabilities.

IMPROVE ACCESS TO SERVICES FOR EVERYONE

Organized domestic violence services were non-existent 40 years ago, and developed over time through the grassroots Battered Women’s Movement. A convergence of efforts to protect battered women occurred during the 1970’s, and laid the foundation for the services that we know of today. The first shelter in New York State was established in 1976. Today, there are 163 residential and 86 non-residential domestic violence programs licensed and approved by OCFS[xv]. The grassroots movement to provide protections to victims of domestic violence spurred change within the legal system as well. While the pioneers of this movement were finding ways to protect victims, they were also pushing for the system to hold offenders accountable. Laws were beginning to be enacted that shifted this “private family matter” to its rightful place of a criminal matter. Slowly but surely, legal and political consciousness awoke, paving the way for pivotal changes that were made in the 1990’s which shaped the legal landscape that we know today.

 Over time, the demographics of people seeking services has changed, as historically marginalized communities pushed to be recognized. To truly be accessible to all people that have been or are being victimized, domestic violence service providers and our system partners must conduct assessments and make appropriate changes in policy and practice. This assessment includes:

  1. Update philosophy, policy and practice to improve accessibility to domestic violence services for LGBTQ victims of intimate partner violence. This informed analysis should address how to actively work to increase accessibility of domestic violence services to the LGBTQ community. Language and media used to promote and describe domestic violence services must be updated so that all victims feel comfortable seeking services. Provide training and technical assistance to staff members of domestic violence service providers across the state to ensure competent service delivery to members of the LGBTQ community.

  2. Improve access to domestic violence services for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) by formulating a multipronged approach to ensure that domestic violence services of all kinds in New York State are accessible to survivors of domestic violence with LEP.

  3. Support tribal communities in their efforts to respond to victims of intimate partner violence and hold offenders accountable, as well as their efforts to end intimate partner violence against Native people. A survey conducted by the CDC found that “39% of Native women surveyed identified as victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime, a rate higher than any other race or ethnicity surveyed[xvi].” Respond to this public health crisis by creating and strengthening programs that provide services to Native victims of domestic and sexual violence, and support the ability of non-tribal domestic violence service providers to provide culturally competent services.

 

NEW YORK STATE FUNDING AND BUDGET PRIORITIES

  • Identify and implement a process of funding domestic violence services in New York State in a manner that complies with VAWA confidentiality laws and allows for all programs across the state to fully provide trauma-informed, victim-centered services.
  • Supplement the state’s reliance on federal funding sources by identifying state specific funding to support state mandated domestic violence services.
  • Increase funding for the core services provided by domestic violence service providers including: immediate crisis intervention via telephone hotline; providing information and referral to appropriate community services to address the myriad of needs that victims of domestic violence have; advocating on behalf of victims of domestic violence to other community services such as the criminal and civil legal system; individual counseling and/or peer support groups; and community education and outreach. These services are provided by non-profit organizations whose primary purpose is to respond to and work towards preventing domestic violence and can be offered in residential (shelter-based settings) or in community based, non-residential settings.
  •  Increase the non-residential domestic violence services funding typically allocated in the NYS Budget from federal TANF dollars. Follow this link for NYSCADV's memo of opposition to the elimination of TANF funding for non-residential domestic violence services in the 2015-2016 Executive Budget.
  •  Help historically marginalized populations by providing the funding necessary for domestic violence service providers to be widely available in the immigrant, youth, elder, LGBTQ, LEP, and tribal communities. 
  • Implement capital improvement plans so that domestic violence shelters can meet the needs of all victims seeking safety and support.
  • Support victims as they navigate through the legal system by providing adequate funding for civil legal services and appropriately compensate the advocates who work within the systems as part of a coordinated community response.
  • Prevent and end domestic violence by stopping it before it starts. This requires consistent and sustained funding to support coordinated statewide primary prevention efforts. The prevention of a single domestic violence homicide would not only save the life of a New Yorker but would also reduce burdens on multiple system responses costing several million dollars.

ENDNOTES

[i] When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2001 Homicide Data: Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents. 2003. Violence Policy Center. Washington, DC. Retrieved from: http://www.vpc.org/graphics/WMMW03.pdf

[ii] J. C. Campbell, D; Webster, J; Koziol-McLain, C. R; et al. 2003. Risk Factors For Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From A Multi-site Case Control Study. American Journal of Public Health. 93(7).

[iii]Domestic Homicide in New York State: 2009. 2010. NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services. Retrieved from: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/crimnet/ojsa/domestic-homicide-2009.pdf

[iv]New Destiny Housing (n.d.). Homelessness and Domestic Violence in New York City: The facts. Retrieved from: http://www.newdestinyhousing.org/userfiles/file/New%20Destiny%20Handouts%208%2028%2013%20FINAL%20(2).pdf.

[v]UNFPA.(n.d.) gender inequality: ending widespread violence against women. Retrieved from: http://www.unfpa.org/gender/violence.htm

 [vi] NYS Office for Children and Family Services (n.d.). Human Trafficking. Retrieved from: http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/humantraffic/

[vii] NYS Office for Children and Family Services (n.d.). Human Trafficking. Retrieved from: http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/humantraffic/

[viii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Understanding Teen Dating Violence: Fact Sheet. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/teendatingviolence2012-a.pdf.

[ix] National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (n.d.). An overview of elder abuse: A growing problem. Retrieved from: http://ncall.us/sites/ncall.us/files/resources/1.%20Overview.pdf

[x] National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life in collaboration with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (2013). Preventing and Responding to Domestic & Sexual Violence in Later Life. VAWNet Special Collection. Retrieved from: http://www.vawnet.org/search-results.php?filterby=abuse+in+later+life.

[xi] Brandl, B. and Raymond, J.A. (2012). Policy implications of recognizing that caregiver stress is not the primary cause of elder abuse. Journal of the American Society on Aging. Volume 36(3).

[xii] Harrell, E., Ph.D., and M. Rand. 2010. Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2008. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

[xiii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (n.d.). Women with disabilities: Screen and counseling for violence. Retrieved from: http://www.hhs.gov/od/women-with-disabilites-violencecounseling/

[xiv] Powers, L.E., Hughes, R.B., Lund, E.M., (2009, Septemver). Interpersonal Violence and Women with Disabilities: A Research Update. Harrisburg, PA: VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence/Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved from: http://www.vawnet.org/Assoc_Files_VAWnet/AR_WomenWithDisabilities.pdf

[xv] NYS Office for Children and Family Services (2011). The Domestic Violence Prevention Act 2011 Annual Report to the Governor and the Legislature. Retrieved from: http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/reports/2011%20DV%20Annual%20Report.pdf

[xvi] Building domestic violence health care responses in Indian country: A promising practices report. Produced by The Family Violence prevention Fund in collaboration with Mending the Sacred Hoop Technical Assistance Project, Sacred Circle (2010). Retrieved from: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/HealthCare/Promising%20Practices%20Report%20-%20Online%20version.PDF