The Poughkeepsie Journal: The Domestic Violence Reform Act is Introduced
Posted May 05 2011 12:00am
It was 2008. I had been waiting in the Orange County Court Building in Goshen NY to speak with an advocate about a restraining order I was in need of. I was divorcing a batterer and was in need of protection. I was desperate. They turned me away. I walked out of the building with nothing but my anxiety. I couldn't understand it. I moved to Rockland County, and after months of stress I finally struggled to get a 9 month restraining order against a man that broke my bones and degraded me, and was also re-victimizing me in court through our divorce. 9 months, that's all I got with advocates assisting me, a shelter working with me, and evidence of injuries and police reports.
I am so glad Kevin Cahill has listened to our requests and has introduced this act for all victims of violence. We shouldn't have to fight for 9 month protection.
Amd SS842 & 1056, Fam Ct Act; amd S240, Dom Rel L; amd S530.12, CP L Relates to duration of orders of protection in cases involving domestic violence.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act, the domestic relations law and the criminal procedure law, in relation to orders of protection in cases involving domestic violence
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Enacts the "Domestic Violence Reform Act" and extends the period of time for orders of protection in cases of domestic violence to five years for family court and ten years for criminal court.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill amends section 842 of the family court act, subdivision 1 of section 1056 of the family court act and subdivision 3 of section 240 of the domestic relations law to extend the order of protection to a period of no less than five years in cases involving domestic violence.
The bill also amends subdivision 5 of section 530.12 of the criminal procedure law and subdivision 5 of section 530.12 of the criminal procedure law to extend the order of protection to a period of no less than ten years in cases involving domestic violence.
JUSTIFICATION: In order to ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence, it is critical that restraining orders are structured to provide sufficient security in terms of the time protected. In the past, restraining orders have been time limited, and by providing judges with the flexibility to ensure that the time of the restraining order will protect the victim is essential. Therefore, sentencing should at a minimum require five years protection if awarded by a family court judge and ten years protection if awarded by a criminal court judge.