In conjunction with October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging action on a number of measures to protect victims, help those who are in danger achieve safety and security and punish those who commit this terrible crime.   

            During 2017, Hawley hosted one of many statewide forums in Batavia that brought together law enforcement, victims and their family members and advocates to share their stories and discuss ways to end the epidemic of domestic violence. As a result the Assembly Minority Conference issued a full report that takes an in-depth look at the issue and legislative solutions.

            “Domestic violence is an atrocity that leaves a trail of heartache and devastation for friends, family members and the community long after abuse has taken place,” Hawley said. “It is our responsibility this month to bring awareness to this public health crisis and help victims find safety and security.” 

Some of the recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Providing financial assistance and relief to victims seeking alternative housing or living in a shelter to escape their abuse;
  • Declaring domestic violence a statewide public health crisis;
  • Creation of a new “Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child” crime with harsher penalties for abusers;
  • Allowing domestic violence victims to obtain emergency panic buttons through local law enforcement or social services; and
  • Freeing up law enforcement to arrest more abusers and keep victims safe.

            Furthermore, Hawley is renewing calls to pass Brittany’s Law – legislation supported by both Democrats and Republicans that would create a public registry for violent felony offenders.

            “It is truly a disgrace that legislation like this, aimed at saving lives and preventing domestic violence, sits idly in Albany despite having bipartisan support,” Hawley continued. “Individuals sometimes become romantically involved with a partner who has a troubled past but chose to hide it. This bill would make violent felons known to the public so as to prevent tragedy of those close to them. I will continue to push for a vote on Brittany’s Law as we prepare for session this winter.”

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