The New York State Senate on Wednesday, May 13 passed two bills aimed at strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence and children at risk of abuse. The bills, officials said, would create new safeguards for victims who testify against their abusers in court, as well as establish a commission to study and recommend methods of preventing child abuse citywide.
The first bill, S3087, would allow domestic violence victims to testify in the physical absence of their abusers by using closed-circuit television, in hopes of facilitating victims’ willingness to come forward. The second, S824, would establish a temporary state commission to study child abuse prevention and make recommendations for implementing child abuse prevention programs statewide.
“There is no place in our homes, schools, or society for child abuse, and the unfortunate reality is that it is happening all too often in New York,” said State Senator Marty Golden, sponsor of S824. “I introduced this legislation because it is time that we stand up against child abuse and make prevention a priority. Reports indicate that there are approximately 80,000 children found to be victims of child abuse and maltreatment in New York State each year. We must figure out how to reverse this trend that is damaging many families.”
Both bills have been sent to the Assembly.