Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Help Available

Domestic Violence: Finding Safety and Support

Return to table of contents /(pdf/printer-friendly - 471kb)

Other Courts and Resources

In recent years, other kinds of courts and resources have been created specifically to help people who are abused by their intimate partner. These are: Domestic Violence Courts, Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, and Family Justice Centers.

Domestic Violence Courts have one judge, a fixed prosecution team, and special staff positions (such as a resource coordinator and a victim advocate). These courts may handle misdemeanor and felony-level criminal cases depending on the particular court. Domestic Violence Courts may provide closer monitoring of domestic violence offenders, since they specialize in domestic violence cases.

Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) Courts have one judge that handles criminal domestic violence cases as well as related family issues, like custody and visitation. Some of these courts also handle divorce proceedings. IDV Courts reduce the need for victims to go to different courts and multiple judges to get the help they need. Typically, a criminal charge triggers an existing Family Court case to move to an IDV Court. The court will let you know if your case has been moved.

Family Justice Centers are places that put many different services victims may need under one roof. These services might include prosecutors, police officers, victim advocates, medical assistance, probation, and children services. Like Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, Family Justice Centers help to cut down on the amount of places victims need to go to get the services they and their children may need.

Not all communities have these courts and centers. To find out if your community has one, call your local domestic violence program.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information in this section describes standard practice in New York State, but your experience may be different. Each case is unique and dependent upon availability of resources in your community. If you are unclear about the handling of your case, you can contact the domestic violence program for support.