This is the fourth year we have published the Annual New York State Domestic Violence Report: we hope that it provides you with a useful single resource about the broad, cross-agency work that has been done in the state on the issue of domestic violence. We want to recognize the remarkable efforts of all of our colleagues at state agencies, nonprofit programs, and localities: everyone is working tirelessly 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 could not be realized without 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 members appointed by the Governor, 6 upon recommendation of the legislature. The roles of the different types of members are complementary: state agency representatives address policies and protocols that have the potential to affect anyone affected by domestic violence who comes into contact with the state’s systems. The appointed members range from concerned individuals to prosecutors, advocates, civil attorneys and others who work outside of the state system. Together, this group permits us to have a fully-informed conversation about the topics we address, ensuring that any proposed state policy changes are reviewed by those who work outside of our state system. All of our recommendations and changes are the richer for that collaboration. We have formatted the information a little bit differently this year to distinguish among the members who play different roles. The hope at the Council is to provide an 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.
This past year marked several important steps forward in our response to domestic violence. The Municipal Police Training Council adopted a new domestic incident curriculum to accompany 2010’s updated policy, and all NYS police trainers received the training; the policy is available on OPDV’s website. The “Shine the Light” campaign gathered steam with over 400 participants statewide, and an updated toolkit online; we expanded our use of social media with the creation of a website and Facebook page dedicated to dating abuse at RespectLove; and we published a report regarding the impact thus far of the “Expanded Access to Family Court” legislation. The City of Schenectady was the second municipality in NY to adopt a domestic violence and the workplace policy – your community can do it too, and we will gladly help!
We at OPDV want to extend our deepest thanks for the work our allies 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 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.