Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace announced a package of legislation has been passed this week by the New York State Assembly.
The legislation aims to empower and provide resources to domestic violence victims.
Here's what the legislation included:
· A.1056 and A.946-A – Allowing victims of domestic violence to be released from a telephone, cable or broadband contract, as well as a shared or family wireless contract, without incurring cancellation fees
· A.4014-A -- Requiring hospitals to establish procedures regarding domestic violence and ongoing training programs for staff, and to designate a hospital staff member to coordinate services for victims
· A.5921 -- Ensures victims of domestic violence understand their legal rights and access to services during criminal and family court proceedings by simplifying the language in court documents
· A.1516 -- Increases the statute of limitations in actions for injuries occurring as a result of domestic violence in civil court proceedings from one to two years
· A.1481-A -- Prevents employers from discriminating against employees on the basis that they are victims of domestic violence and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace for employees to attend court appearances and seek critical services such as counseling or medical treatment related to their abuse
Wallace also proposed a bill to expand dating violence education in New York State school districts. The bill would amend current state education laws and create uniform policies for dating violence.
“Unfortunately, it is difficult for a woman to marshal the courage to leave her abuser,” said Wallace. “Victims often return to their abuser several times before summoning the courage to leave for good. The abuse leaves victims feeling ashamed, defeated, and self-loathing. Further, victims are often financially dependent on their abusers. Ninety-eight percent of domestic violence cases involve some form of financial abuse, and domestic abuse is the third leading cause of homelessness among families."