Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hyer-Spencer: Assembly Passes Legislation To Expand Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

Hyer-Spencer: Assembly Passes Legislation To Expand Protections for Domestic Violence Victims
by Brooklyn Eagle (edit@brooklyneagle.net), published online 04-30-2009

Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer announced that the Assembly passed several of the bills she sponsored to help protect victims of domestic violence.
“I have been a strong advocate for victims of domestic violence,” Hyer-Spencer said. “This issue affects many people, and it is our responsibility to put protections in place to prevent these heinous crimes from happening.”

Domestic violence is not just assault; these crimes create devastating physical, emotional, psychological and financial problems for victims. Victims of domestic violence require special measures to protect them from their abusers and to help them heal.

The Assembly passed a package of bills that would:

• Grant victims of domestic or sexual violence 90 days of unpaid leave from their employment during any 12-month period in order to resolve related legal issues and seek the proper care — and entitle employees to return to the same position (A.438-B)

• Prohibit employers from discriminating against victims of domestic violence or stalking (A.755-A)

• Prohibit housing discrimination against domestic violence victims by forbidding landlords and sellers of property from denying an individual the right to purchase, rent, lease or inhabit housing because of involvement in a domestic dispute (A.1055-A)

• Require criminal or family court judges to inquire about the defendant’s or respondent’s possession of a firearm when orders of protection are sought (A.4320-A)

• Establish an address confidentiality program for domestic violence victims, allowing the Department of State to accept victims’ mail on their behalf to keep their location unknown to their abusers (A.2858-B)

• Provide for the tolling of the duration of an order of protection issued for non-felony cases from the time of a defendant’s release from incarceration (A.5705)

• Allow domestic abuse victims who have an order of protection to obtain an unlisted telephone number without charge (A.6509)

• Make it illegal for an individual to possess a firearm if he or she has committed a family offense (A.7575-A).

“As the former legal director of My Sister’s Place, a non-profit organization that helps victims of domestic violence, I’ve seen the devastating effects these crimes have on families,” says Hyer-Spencer. “These bills continue my commitment to reducing domestic violence in New York State.”

In addition Assemblywoman Hyer-Spencer is currently sponsoring two pieces of legislation that will further protect victims of domestic violence by:

• Allowing the use of closed-circuit television for the testimony of domestic violence victim witnesses in a criminal proceeding

• Providing unemployment insurance to survivors of domestic violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment