Norris Announces Recommendations To Support Domestic Violence Survivors

January 23, 2018

As part of his ongoing efforts to tackle the rising rates of domestic violence in upstate New York, Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,I-Lockport) joined colleagues from the Assembly Minority Task Force on Domestic Violence to announce the findings of their statewide task force conducted in 2017. Their report, A Safe Haven: Helping Abuse Victims and Enhancing Protections, is a series of legislative, budgetary and procedural recommendations that would better support victims and help bring about justice for survivors.

“When I was first elected I was extremely touched by the work done by the Lockport YWCA and the families affected by domestic violence. This issue to close to my heart because too many families – and in particular too many children – are impacted,” said Norris, who attended the task force forum held in Niagara Falls. “I am determined to stand up, and stand with, those in our community who are doing so much to bring light to domestic violence and help end it once and for all.”

After learning about the rising rate of domestic violence in communities across the state, working with local women’s organizations and domestic violence prevention groups, and meeting families who had been impacted by domestic violence, Norris eagerly became a sponsor of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act – Brittany’s Law. He also circulated a public petition to help increase awareness, and has become an advocate for victims and survivors.

A Safe Haven: Helping Abuse Victims and Enhancing Protections targets four ways state resources can better prevent domestic violence and support victims, including:

  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement: creating enhanced domestic violence crimes, especially those committed in the presence of children;
  • Role of the Courts: enhancing orders of protection, bail reform, family court reforms, temporary spousal/child support, batterer intervention programs and other ways the courts can support victims;
  • Victim Assistance: providing temporary housing options, domestic violence crisis centers, personal emergency panic buttons, passing Melinda’s Law, and creating safe havens so victims don’t have to choose between safety and their pets; and
  • Prevention: mandatory reporting of domestic violence and elder abuse, statewide domestic violence training to better identify victims, developing domestic violence prevention and “what to do” curriculum in schools, and public awareness outreach campaigns.

While Norris said he would continue working to enact these changes, he would like to remind New Yorkers that resources and help are available. To learn more, please go to www.opdv.ny.gov or call the state’s Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-942-6906.