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Reflections on NYSCADV’s 2024 Legislative Day of Action: Ensuring the Needs of Domestic Violence Survivors are Attained

3 advocates inside a Legislative Day of Action Photo Frame.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, NYSCADV convened a powerful Legislative Day of Action, when DV advocates from across the State joined together in Albany to elevate the needs of DV survivors and their families. At a series of meetings throughout the day, DV advocates informed legislators that New York State continuously has the highest demand for DV services in the country. Survivors and DV programs have sounded the alarm for years, noting that every day in New York, nearly 1,000 DV survivors do not get the services and support they need. New York State officials have failed to respond, maintaining funding year after year and preventing DV programs from having a full complement of staff and comprehensive programming to support survivors on their journey to safety.


In the morning, several legislative leaders joined with us to discuss their efforts to support DV survivors, including:

  • Senator James Skoufis
  • Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal
  • Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi
  • Assemblymember Amy Paulin
  • Assemblymember Maritza Davila


In light of her impending retirement, NYSCADV honored Assemblymember Helene Weinstein’s dedicated support and advocacy for DV survivors and NYSCADV. NYSCADV presented her with an award to mark her final year in the legislature, celebrating her exceptional accomplishments on behalf of New York’s most vulnerable citizens.


NYSCADV was also honored to have Jacqueline Franchetti, Founder of Kyra’s Champions, and Jennifer Friedman, Senior Program Director, Family Law Project and Policy at Sanctuary for Families, discuss the crucial need for Family Court reforms and the significance of passing Kyra’s Law to prioritize the safety of children in court custody and visitation proceedings.


As a powerful symbol of our commitment, advocates marched through the Empire State Plaza Concourse into the Capitol before heading into meetings with legislators. Simultaneously, the Assembly and Senate approved resolutions memorializing May 14, 2024, as Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Day in the State of New York, a tangible result of our collective efforts. The Senate also approved a package of DV-related legislation, including a bill that would protect DV survivors who have been victims of coerced debt and another that would prevent named beneficiaries who commit an act of DV against a city or state retiree from receiving pension benefits.


The group’s advocacy efforts centered on several key legislative priorities:

  • Kyra’s Law (A.3346C Hevesi/S.3170C Skoufis): Would require courts to conduct prompt evidentiary hearings to review any findings or allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect before issuing custody or visitation orders.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work (A.8437A Hevesi/S.7793A Persaud): Would make staff at residential and non-residential DV programs, OVS-licensed crime victim service programs, and DOH-licensed rape crisis programs, among others, eligible for cost-of-living adjustments on state contracts.
  • S.A.F.E. Shelter Act (A.2583 Hevesi/S.15 Gounardes): Would ensure DV shelter operators receive full financial reimbursement for housing a single adult DV victim in a shelter room intended for double occupancy.
  • End Coerced Debt (A.1309B Rosenthal/S.2278A Cleare): Would allow DV survivors to dispute coerced debt.
  • Protect DV Victims from Vehicle Tracking (A.9616A Rosenthal/S.9174 Gounardes): Would require vehicle manufacturers and dealers to terminate an abuser’s access to remote vehicle technology at the request of a DV survivor who shows proof of ownership and self-attests to their status as a DV victim.


In addition to in-person advocacy, many supporters participated online, showing their support on social media and meeting with representatives virtually. This broad engagement around the State raised awareness about the needs of DV survivors and the actions legislators can take now to support victims.


We sincerely thank all the advocates, survivors, and legislators who participated in our Legislative Day of Action. As we reflect on the day, we remain steadfast in our mission. There is much more work to be done, and we are committed to advocating for the rights and protections that domestic violence survivors need. Together, we will persist in our efforts to create a safer and more just society.


Thank you for your unwavering support and participation. Let’s continue to push for the change we believe in.


Please follow us on our social media channels and website for updates and ways to get involved.