As we release our third Annual New York State Domestic Violence Report, we would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of all of our colleagues this past year. In a time of fiscal downturn, the needs of the population we seek to assist can be exacerbated, just as the programs designed to help them are struggling. Our partners at state agencies, nonprofit programs, and localities, are all working diligently to meet the needs of individuals in crisis despite the realities of fewer resources. As a state agency tasked with coordinating and leading interagency efforts on domestic violence, any success we achieve is thanks in large measure to the dedication of our colleagues.
This report is a product of the New York State Domestic Violence Advisory Council (NYS DV Advisory Council). The Council includes representation from 14 State agencies, as well as 9 appointed members who represent a broad cross section of service-providers from advocates, to civil and criminal attorneys, to judges and legislators. All members contribute information to the report to ensure the most accurate summary of the State’s work possible. The Council is a good example of how regular and sustained collaboration across sectors can result in real systematic change, improved awareness of opportunities for improvement, and solutions that can arise only when people of different disciplines and backgrounds join forces.
Despite the ongoing fiscal challenges facing our state in 2010, this report summarizes some real accomplishments New York was able to achieve. The legislature passed and the Governor signed into law several important pieces of legislation; our public awareness efforts practically doubled from the previous year thanks to terrific participation from across the state; and the Municipal Police Training Council adopted a new and improved domestic incident policy which will help standardize police response across the state. One result of resource challenges is the need for longer timelines on projects, so 2010 also saw the creation and development of several important programs and tools that have been or will be implemented in 2011. While we share our colleague’s concerns about the prevalence of domestic violence – still representing the largest subset of serious assaults reported to police across the state – we are proud that our state’s commitment to responding to the problem remains strong and sustained. We have become even more creative with ways to address these problems, from web-based training, to electronic publications, to using social media: our report concludes with the plans we have for 2011 and beyond.
We at OPDV, and on behalf of all of our government colleagues, want to extend our deepest thanks for the tireless work direct service providers do to support victims in their basic right to attain a safe and secure life. We are in your debt. We would also like to acknowledge the 89 individuals who lost their lives at the hands of their intimate partners; they are not forgotten. Please continue to share with us what more we can do to make sure that all new Yorkers can be safe in their intimate and family relationships.