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Governor Paterson Passes the Buck

Posted Oct 02 2009 3:07pm

I just got over discussing the typical process DV organizations give victims of abuse, but today I received a letter from Governor Paterson addressing my CVB complaint from a few days ago. If you read back a few posts you will find a letter I addressed to a Crime Victims Board Member and Governor Paterson's Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. I not only explained how CVB is flawed, but I explained how my CVB advisor is not responding to my phone calls about my claim. This is what Governor Paterson's office wrote back to me--remember the process, ignore/refer/pass the buck.

Ms. Phelps

"Governor Paterson has forwarded your concerns with the Crime Victims Board for the CVB to address. Chairwoman Tina Stanford has been made aware of your concerns as well and asked me to contact you.

Please understand that the Board is obligated to gather certain information from its claimants and/or providers before an award can be made. In making any determinations, the Board Members are bound by the confines of the law. As such, the Board cannot provide reimbursement until it has sufficient information to do so. I understand some of this information may seem burdensome to you, but it is only requested when necessary to determine a claim. The law and rules under which the Board operates may be easily accessed on our public website,, under the "Legal information" tab.

According to the information contained in your CVB application, you submitted the application itself March 2,2009. It is my understanding that Crime Victim Specialist, Kathy Davidson is currently working on your claim, but is awaiting your submission of certain information. I encourage you to provide this information and continue to work with Ms. Davidson so your claim may be properly determined by the Board.

Thank you for your patience and continued cooperation. I hope this information is useful".

John Watson
General Counsel

To address this letter, maybe Mr. Watson should have read my letter more closely. Unfortunately, he did not and he addressed things I have either done, stated in my letter to the Governor and CVB,and, on top of that, he sent me back to my advisor,the same person who has not been in touch with me or responsive to my calls--the reason for my letter in the first place. The "run around". Here it is in black and white. Let's think about this. CVB is managed by the Governor, who I reached out to with a complaint about CVB and its flawed process and its inability to perform due to layoffs and under staffing. I reached out the the top person in charge here, and I reached out to the head of CVB, the chairwoman, Tina Stanford, who has also ignored me and passed me off to the Governor, who then passed me back to my CVB advisor, the one I haven't been able to get a response from--confusing, I know, which is why so many victims go without help. Many DV victims get confused and tired from these "circles" the people in charge send them on, that they usually give up, not me. Tomorrow I will be wasting more time and I will respond to this letter, restating my original questions and expecting the same answers. The fact is, they are hoping I will go away, but I'm not, I wonder if they have a plan for that too? How can we make persistent DV victims go away? Maybe they should start thinking. As a suvivor of brutal domestic violence, I think I rather have my leg broken all over again by my abuser, rather than go through this, I honestly can't recognize the difference between the protectors and abusers anymore.
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