Senator Elaine Phillips recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month; secures $50,000 for The Safe Center LI

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

State Sen. Elaine Phillips announced today she has secured $50,000 for The Safe Center LI, continuing her efforts to protect victims and raise awareness during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate; it affects all women, regardless of race, age, religion and education. According to latest statistics, 1 in 3 women in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence and on a typical day, domestic violence hotlines across our country receive nearly 21,000 calls,” said Sen. Phillips. “I am pleased to have secured this important funding that will assist The Safe Center LI with their efforts to save and change the lives of the victims of domestic or dating abuse, child abuse, and rape and sexual assault.”

“This funding will enable The Safe Center to continue to make crisis intervention services available to victims of domestic violence through our 24 hour hotline, as well as providing education and training at schools, community functions and public and private agencies to prevent abuse and guide victims to help,” said Sandy Oliva, executive director of The Safe Center LI. “We are so grateful to Senator Phillips for helping us to provide the services and preventive education programs that are so critical to keeping families safe.”

“As state Senator, I am committed to providing organizations such as Safe Center LI with needed resources, enacting legislation protecting women and children from domestic violence, and passing tougher sentencing laws for violent criminals,” Phillips said.

Specific legislation enacted in the New York state Senate this year includes:

• Domestic Violence Protection Act: Enacts the Domestic Violence Protection Act, also known as Brittany’s Law, a measure that would increase the safety and awareness of communities by increasing access to information about convicted violent felons. The bill would create a public registry of all individuals convicted of a violent felony and allow local law enforcement to keep track of their location;

• Improving Coordination in Preventing Domestic Violence: Adds State Police and Office of Victim Services as new members to the state’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review team. The new members would bring law enforcement and victim advocate experience to enhance the development of policies for effective intervention, public education, and advocacy, and facilitate and assure communication and coordination of efforts among state agencies and all levels of government in ending domestic violence;

• Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence: Provides stronger protections for vulnerable victims by allowing them to testify via closed-circuit television in criminal proceedings. Current law only allows children who are considered vulnerable by a judge to testify via closed-circuit television. This legislation would also give domestic violence victims the option of testifying outside of the physical presence of their abusers to help facilitate cooperation with prosecutions;

• Increasing Protection At Domestic Violence Shelters: Extends protections to employees of domestic violence shelters or those seeking their services by strengthening penalties for assaults at shelters.

Thursday, Oct. 19, marked the 10th anniversary of New York’s “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence campaign,” which the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence coordinates annually, encouraging individuals to wear purple in support of domestic violence victims and prevention.

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