Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that he helped pass a legislative package to provide more assistance to, and increase protections for, victims of domestic violence. Steck noted that in 2011, there were 2,268 reports of domestic violence in Albany County and 1,843 reports of domestic violence in Schenectady County.i Be it physical or psychological, the damaging effects of domestic abuse can stay with a victim for a lifetime if they arent able to get the help they need, Assemblymember Steck said. This legislative package helps victims of this horrific violence by making more support available and by giving them the ability to start rebuilding their lives. Its a crucial beginning point to help domestic violence victims statewide. Assemblymember Steck supported the following legislative package:
- A.898 prohibits employment discrimination against domestic violence victims;
- A.899 exposes individuals or parties who fail to obey or enforce an order of protection to joint liability for all non-economic damages sought by a claimant after a fact-finding by a judge or jury;
- A.1084 requires orders of protection issued in family court to be interpreted into the native language of the individuals involved;
- A.2562 requires hospitals to establish policies and procedures regarding domestic violence, establish ongoing training programs on domestic violence for staff and designate a hospital staff member to coordinate services to victims;
- A.5387 prohibits housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence by forbidding landlords and property sellers from denying an individual the right to purchase, rent, lease or inhabit housing;
- A.6390 makes it illegal for an individual to possess a firearm if he or she has committed a family offense by adding certain family offenses to the list of serious offenses for which purchasing or possessing a license for a firearm, rifle or shotgun would constitute a class A misdemeanor; and
- A.6547-A provides notice on orders of protection affirming that the protected party cannot be held to violate the order nor be arrested for violating the order.