NEW YORK — Gov. Kathleen C. Ho-Chol recently launched a comprehensive law that strengthens protections for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence by seizing guns from violent partners and protecting survivor confidentiality. signed a series of laws.
Hochul worked with survivors, advocates and legislative champions to sign five bills into law at the Union Settlement, a non-profit organization serving survivors in East Harlem.
“My administration is committed to ending domestic violence and supporting survivors. It has been a journey of a lifetime for generations of women in my family. We are proud to sign these new laws to protect New Yorkers from danger and give them the flexibility they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”
Signed during Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October, the law protects the rights of survivors and reduces violence against firearms, which are used in about one-third of reported domestic violence homicides in New York City. Proponents say it reaffirms Ho Chul’s firm commitment to reducing access for private partners. state.
“Because safety is paramount in situations of domestic and sexual violence, today’s legislation enhances the safety of all survivors. Whether it’s gun safety, privacy rights or financial abuse. We want New Yorkers to know that they have choices, resources, and protections, even if they are already living in the United States. Bureau Executive Director Kelly Owens said.
“Much of the work that victim assistance professionals do is to provide services and support to post-crime victims and survivors. This comprehensive package of laws restricts abusers’ access to firearms. focuses on prevention by strengthening the ability of courts to act and empower individuals to make choices that are in their best interests. We applaud her for her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of victims and survivors of crime,” added Elizabeth Cronin, Director of Victim Services.
Law S.6363-A/A.8102 states that if a violent partner refuses to surrender firearms, rifles, and shotguns in defiance of a court order issued in connection with a protective order, the court may , rifles, and shotguns. The law ensures that firearms will be seized by individuals who are subject to protection orders and are already considered a hazard if they fail to comply with previous orders to surrender their firearms.
Law S.6443-B/A.8105-B requires criminal and family court judges to investigate whether individuals subject to protection orders possess firearms . Existing law required these individuals to have their firearms licenses revoked or suspended, but did not require them to raise the issue with a judge.
Law S.3855/A.7748-A allows survivors of sexual violence to apply to state elections commissions to withhold their voter registration information from the public. This extends important privacy protections and exempts disclosure of records by freedom of information. legal requirement. Under existing law, only survivors of domestic violence crimes can keep this information confidential.
Legislation S.7157-A/A.6207-B expands existing requirements for utilities, wireless, cable, satellite, and telecommunications companies to allow individuals and domestic violence survivors with sharing agreements to Allow you to opt out of such agreements without fee or penalty. , or fee. This law expands existing laws by prohibiting actions by corporations that may limit the ability or willingness of survivors to leave these sharing agreements.
Law S.7263-A/A.2519-A requires health insurance companies and health maintenance organizations to provide survivors of domestic violence with options to provide alternative contact information. their abuser. This change will allow survivors to seek and pay for medical and mental health services using health insurance without the fear of claims, forms or bills being sent to the policyholder’s address. increase.
The package of laws continues Ho Chul’s efforts to address gender-based violence and domestic violence throughout New York State. Governor signs legislation this spring to improve access to grievances by expanding coverage under the Human Rights Act for survivors of domestic violence and banning discrimination in areas such as housing and public facilities Did. Previously, it was only covered as a protected class under the employment provisions of human rights law.
In April, Hochul issued an executive order directing the Domestic Violence Prevention Service to create policies that strengthen New York State’s procedures for addressing domestic and gender-based violence in the workplace. Initially, OPDV issued a model policy. State agencies can use this model policy to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to guide responses when the issue of domestic and intimate partner violence intersects with the workplace.
Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face domestic violence, mostly women. More than 195,000 domestic violence protection orders issued in New York State in 2021, up 18% from 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem of domestic violence, causing him nearly a 34% increase in calls to the New York state hotline from the start. of a public health crisis.
OPDV polled 5,000 New Yorkers this summer. Survey results show that most New Yorkers are confident in their understanding of domestic and gender-based violence, and that many know victims, but that these problems are caused by external factors (such as drugs and alcohol). use, lack of impulse control, or anger problems). — rather than an abusive partner decision.
For the past 30 years, OPDV has remained the only cabinet-level body in the country dedicated to the issue of gender-based violence. The agency’s mission is to improve New York State’s response and prevention of domestic and sexual violence with the goal of increasing safety in intimate relationships for all New Yorkers through policies, programs, and public awareness. That’s it. OPDV also works with local health care providers to ensure that they provide survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culture-appropriate services statewide.