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   Task Force on Domestic Violence Prevention

THE PROBLEM

Breaking free from a violent environment is an emotionally draining and difficult process. Victims are often fearful of retaliation from their abuser, and anxious about dealing with the court system and social services. To combat these problems, Assembly Republican Leader Brian M. Kolb created the “Assembly Minority Task Force on Preventing Domestic Violence.” Over the length of five forums, Task Force Chairman Joe Giglio listened to first-hand accounts of domestic violence victims, law enforcement officials, criminal justice experts, and advocates for domestic violence awareness. From this testimony, the Task Force produced a report, A Safe Haven: Helping Abuse Victims and Enhancing Protections. This comprehensive study recommends a series of reforms to ensure victims of domestic violence receive the assistance they need. The following legislation is designed to generate security for the survivors of domestic violence, and create a safe haven from future abuse.

  • Domestic Violence Committed in the Presence of a Child – Provide a harsher penalty for intentionally committing an act of domestic violence in the presence of a child who is 15 years of age or younger (A.8810, Giglio).

  • Domestic Violence Crimes – Create a Domestic Violence Crime which provides an enhanced penalty for a person who intentionally commits a specified offense against a member of the same family or household (A.8842, Giglio).

  • “One Court – One Judge” – Consolidate court proceedings for victims of domestic violence by requiring that all proceedings are heard in supreme court, which will allow cases to be heard in one court room and by one judge (A.9551, Giglio).​

  • Permitting Hearsay Evidence – Allow social workers or victim’s advocates to provide hearsay testimony regarding factual circumstances warranting the issuance of an order of protection (A.8814, Giglio). 

  • Temporary Spousal Support – Permit a family court to award temporary spousal support in conjunction with the issuance of a temporary order of protection to aid victims of domestic violence who face financial burdens when an order of protection is issued against a moneyed spouse (A.8836, Giglio).

  • Order of Protection Extension – Aid victims of domestic violence who petition family court by extending the effective dates of orders of protection for two additional years in extreme cases (A.8815, Giglio).

  • Mandatory Reporting of Incidents of Domestic Violence – Require certain individuals, when acting in his or her professional capacity, to report suspected incidents of domestic violence (A.8825, Giglio). 

  • Mandatory Reporting of Elder Abuse – Require certain individuals, when acting in his or her professional or official capacity, to report acts of suspected elder abuse or mistreatment (A.8809, Giglio).

  • Temporary Housing Extension – Allow for three 45-day extensions to the maximum time allowable in an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence (A.9883, Giglio).

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