Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Domestic Violence Annual Report 2011


Policies, Projects & Programs

During 2011 the following members of the NYS DV Advisory Council developed new policies and/or participated in domestic violence projects and programs:

NYS Office for the Aging (OFA)
  • Posted or placed educational materials and information on where to get assistance in NYS regarding Domestic Violence and prevention in all NYSOFA rest rooms.
  • Informed all employees about October and Domestic Violence Awareness Month and encouraged our folks to wear purple on 10/19/11.
  • Maintained Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual report to OPDV.

For more information visit the OFA website.

NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)
  • Information for the OASAS Client data system is gathered, system-wide, at time of discharge. Questions are asked to determine whether or not a particular individual was, at any point in the treatment process, identified as a victim or perpetrator of intimate partner violence (IPV)/domestic violence (DV). In 2011 with 209,903 treatment recipients:
    • The percentage of victims identified increased slightly from 11.3% to 11.7%.
    • The percentage of perpetrators identified increased from 5% to 5.7%.
    • 3% of treatment recipients identified as both victims and perpetrators.
    • The overall rates of identification represent a much smaller incidence of co-occurring domestic violence and substance abuse than has been cited by national statistics.  OASAS continues to track data and investigate the disparity.
  • Conducted a survey of treatment programs for 2012 planning purposes to determine the extent to which programs are screening, assessing and referring individuals to DV service providers. A total of 1022 Treatment Programs were surveyed with 990 (96.9%) responding. 
    • Ninety-four percent reported that they screened their incoming clients for whether or not they were DV victims. Ninety-one percent of those that screen reported referring people to appropriate services, mostly to DV programs, coalitions or mental health programs.
    • Eighty percent reported that they screened their incoming clients for whether or not they had a history as a DV perpetrator. Seventy-seven percent of those that screen reported making referrals to appropriate services, mostly to spousal abuse groups, anger management therapy or mental health services.
  • Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (CASAC) – OASAS staff and a workgroup of OASAS Certified Education and Training Providers have proposed that Domestic Violence and Substance Use Disorders become a standardized and required component of the CASAC standardized curriculum. Proposal is currently being vetted through the OASAS administration and upon approval implementation will ensue.
  • Provided on-going IPV/DV education and awareness to inpatient clients.
  • Monitored the NYS Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) with regards to the rate of dating violence noted for NYS youth, and then educated providers on the co-occurring risk of teen substance abuse and dating violence.
  • OASAS has developed s system to annually notify providers that Congress and NYS have proclaimed the entire month of February to be Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Each year this is also included on the OASAS webpage and noted in the February updates which are distributed to 1550 OASAS prevention, treatment and recovery providers.
  • Re-energized a cross-sectional employee workgroup that addresses issues related to IPV/DV services for employees as well as services for clients. 
  • During October OASAS hosted a DV awareness event and encouraged employees to participate in Turn NYS Workforce Purple to raise DV awareness by wearing purple of 10/19/11.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the OASAS website.

NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS
  • OCFS engaged a nationally recognized consultant, Shellie Taggart, with expertise and experience in child welfare and domestic violence intervention to create practice guidance to enable child welfare caseworkers to use family engagement strategies safely in families who experience domestic violence.  To date, OCFS’s collaboration with Ms. Taggart produced various materials including:
    • A DVD “Domestic Violence: An Overview” will teach caseworkers how to identify domestic violence in families, its impact on family safety and functioning, and strategies to engage caretakers to meet their children’s need for safety, well being and permanency.  The DVD will be a prerequisite for participating in the Family Engagement Toolkits, one of OCFS’s primary training tools to teach family engagement strategies.
    • A document entitled “Identifying Domestic Violence” that is intended to support the ability of caseworkers to identify domestic violence throughout their involvement with the family.
    • A document entitled “Helpful Things to Say” that is intended to support the ability of the caseworkers to engage all family in an assessment of safety and risk when domestic violence is identified within the family.
    • A document entitled “DV Practice Considerations for Conducting Family Meetings with Families Affected by Domestic Violence.” This document is intended to support the ability of caseworkers to prepare for, conduct and follow up on family meetings when domestic violence is present.

Each of these tools will be incorporated within the Family Engagement Meeting Toolkit and adapted for broader use. 

  • On October 19, 2011 OCFS participated in New York State’s “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence. The 4th annual OCFS “Purple Day” was conducted and all employees were encouraged to support domestic violence awareness by wearing purple to work. Staff from the Domestic Violence Unit staffed display tables, answered questions and disseminated literature.
  • Using the data available in the Domestic Violence Information System, profiles were developed for each county, providing information about the approved residential and non-residential domestic violence programs in the county as well as data and trends related to occupancy and length of stay.
  • Eleven Child Protective/Domestic Violence collaboration projects continued to be funded.  Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) data showed domestic violence to be one of the most frequent risk factors in indicated CPS cases.  In each funded project a domestic violence advocate is located at the CPS office and typically provides case consultation, participates in home visits and cross training and works jointly with case workers to develop safety plans with victims and their children.  In 2011 approximately 1,660 families received specialized services through the collaboration projects.  In 87% of the indicated CPS reports in the project, the children remained safely with the non-offending parent.  In 94% of the unfounded reports, families were able to access necessary supports and services.
  • Contracted with the Center for Human Services Research at the University at Albany to further evaluate the impact of the CPS/DV collaborations. This study will provide evidence about the effectiveness of co-location as a model, gather information to improve CPS/DV practice, and systematically study the effects of collaboration on children and families.
  • Technical assistance was provided through a variety of sources to all residential and non-residential domestic violence programs. Through its home and regional offices, OCFS staff provided on-site monitoring and technical assistance in program and policy development, as well as in licensing, financial and contract issues.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the OCFS website

NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS)
  • Participated in February’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness Campaign by posting teen dating information on agency intranet and preserving it in their intranet resource library.
  • Participated in October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month by posting domestic violence information on agency intranet and preserving it in their intranet resource library.  Other efforts included a statewide mailing of an informational packet to Regional Directors and Superintendents.  The packet included Domestic Violence and the Workplace poster, flyer on Domestic Violence Awareness, Flyer on “Shine the Light” encouraging state employees to wear purple on October 19, 2011, and information on an agency wide cell phone drive. 
  • Other October activities included adding the OPDV link and banner to the agency website; raffles and bake sales that generated proceeds in excess of $1,400 which were donated to various domestic violence programs; information displays; and non uniform staff wearing purple clothing and ribbons on October 19, 2011.
  • Community Supervisions staff conducted a full case review to screen for domestic violence.  Findings were documented in their case management system.
  • Community Supervision staff continued the Domestic Violence Alert process and reporting system on the Divisions’ Case Management System (CMS), including the flashing Domestic Violence alert system.
  • Implemented Community Supervision Operation’s Domestic Incident Report Directive (DIR) outlining Policy and Procedure surrounding the transmission of a DIR.  Including: DIR Tracking Sheet and DIR Spreadsheet.
  • Participated in various coordinated community response efforts, including but not limited to Re-Entry and Domestic Violence focused training, meetings and webinars.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the DOCCS website.

Office of Court Administration (OCA)
  • New York State’s Domestic Violence (DV) courts, each staffed by a designated judge, took in 32,983 new cases
  • Separate DV courts in three jurisdictions with high case loads, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Yonkers are designated as youthful offender domestic violence courts (YODVC’s).  These YODVC’s handle cases involving teen defendants charged with crimes of domestic violence.  They tailor responses and sentences imposed to the particular circumstances of adolescent defendants; they work with programs developed for teens and have available intensive advocacy aimed at supporting complaining witnesses, many of whom are teens as well.  Of the nearly 33,000 cases, 548 were YODVC cases.
  • New York State’s Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) courts use a “one family-one judge” model to bring before a single judge in Supreme Court the multiple criminal, family and matrimonial cases of families where domestic violence is an underlying issue.  In 2011, 3,026 new families and 16,191 new cases entered the 46 IDV courts around the state.
  • The Office of Policy & Planning in collaboration with the center for Court Innovation began to develop a Domestic Violence/Integrated Domestic Violence Court Self-Assessment Tool that will be provided to courts to assist them in identifying areas of strength and opportunities for further implementation of best practices.  This tool will be piloted in 2012.
  • The Office of Court Administration continued to implement its Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy, offered work/life assistance, domestic and sexual violence hotline and contact information for all 62 counties.

For more information visit the OCA website.

NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)
  • Domestic Incident Report (DIR) Repository:  Early in 2011 the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) launched the statewide DIR repository/database.  A DIR is completed whenever the police respond to a domestic incident-related call for service.  The DIRs are in turn sent to DCJS and filed as paper reports. The repository will capture the data from each report electronically into one database accessible to all law enforcement, prosecutors, probation and parole personnel, giving them the ability to search – by victim or offender name, incident address or document number.  DIR’s are filed by more than 550 police agencies in the 57 counties outside of New York City.  As of December 31, 2011 48 police agencies have signed up to search the repository which now contains 376,147 DIR’s and receives an average of 15,550 DIR’s every month.
  • Operation IMPACT: This on-going DCJS initiative supports strategic crime-fighting and violence reduction efforts in 17 counties outside of New York City that account for 80 percent of the crime upstate and on Long Island.  In collaboration with OPDV, all IMPACT jurisdictions are offered training and technical assistance in a variety of different areas including: additions and revisions to Criminal Procedure and Penal laws, such as strangulation offenses; stalking; Domestic Incident Reports; mandatory arrest; primary physical aggressor determination; Orders of Protection; and New York’s expanded access to Family Court laws.

In the 2011-2012 RFA cycle, DCJS identified crimes that jurisdictions should plan to address based on their crime data.  Two communities, Yonkers and Utica, were asked to address domestic violence.  OPDV reviewed and provided input to DCJS on the content of the proposals, and has provided support to both jurisdictions as they implement their plans.

Finally, OPDV in collaboration with the DCJS Office of Public Safety, Office of Probation and Correction Alternatives and the Division of Parole, continued work on a federally-funded grant project around the success of the IMPACT collaborations.  In 2010 four impact jurisdictions – Nassau, Orange, Dutchess, and Albany – served as pilot series for the development of enhanced training for the criminal justice and advocacy community of key topics in domestic violence.  The grant deliverables are nearing completion, and will consist of a series of web-based training tools for police, probation, and parole officers that will be made available stateside.

  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

DCJS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA):

  • Assisted in development of NYS DCJS Policy and Procedures Manual for the Domestic Incident Report Repository.

Participated in panel discussion on restorative justice and domestic violence issues held during Genesee County Mental Health Association Criminal Justice Day.

  • Held Probation Response to Domestic Incident Reports Live Meeting for 98 probation professionals from over 40 local departments.
  • Participated in Capital Region Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Primary Prevention Roundtable.
  • Conducted site visits to 10 probation departments and facilitated collaboration between local probation and law enforcement to enhance delivery of DIR’s to probation as required under Criminal Procedure Law.
  • Responded to 79 requests for technical assistance on domestic violence issues including officer-involved domestic violence, new strangulation laws, firearms prohibitions, certificates of relief from disabilities, rural and Native American domestic violence training materials, domestic violence in military families, information for judges and magistrates, DIR’s, expanded access to Family Court and domestic violence policy development.

For more information visit the DCJS website

NYS Education Department (SED)
  • Posted information on domestic violence, including posters, flyers and palm cards in various locations throughout the Department.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and filed bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the SED website.

NYS Department of Health (DOH)
  • The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is an on-going telephone and mail survey of mothers who have recently had a baby. New mothers are asked questions related to domestic violence, for example:
    • During the 12 months before you got pregnant with your new baby, did your husband or partner push, hit, slap, kick, choke, or physically hurt you in any other way?
    • During your most recent pregnancy, did your husband or partner push, hit, slap, kick, choke, or physically hurt you in any other way?
  • The Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy prevention (CAPP) initiative funds community based organizations to provide evidence-based sexual health education and best practice interventions on healthy relationships, parent-child communication and other preparatory topics for adulthood that promote individual and group skills to form positive dating/sexual relationships, enhance partner communication skills, set appropriate boundaries, reduce anger and violent behaviors, act responsibly, and to communicate with parents and other trusted adults. Programming also directs adolescents to domestic violence services within their communities, if indicated.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the DOH website.

NYS Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Provided Statewide One Stop Employment and Training Offices with NYSDOL Domestic Violence pamphlets which included contact information for: local Domestic Violence Service Providers, NYS Domestic Violence & Sexual Violence Hotline, and NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.
  • Posted a web banner on the NYSDOL website during October of 2011 to raise awareness about domestic violence.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the DOL website.  

NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH)
  • Electronic distribution of Domestic Violence Prevention brochures to OMH field offices for program distribution.
  • Posted Domestic Violence information on OMH website.
  • Maintained Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the OMH website.

NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV)
  • NYS Domestic Violence Advisory Council
    • The Council met twice in 2011 providing domestic violence information and updates from member agencies and systems.
  • Released the 2010 New York State Domestic Violence Annual Report.
  • Identified “Screening” as the Council’s topic of focus for 2011.
  • Law Enforcement
    • Release of Statewide Model Domestic Incident Policy and Curriculum for Police. The Municipal Police Training Council (MPTC) approved a revised domestic violence training curriculum (drafted by OPDV) for police officer recruits. The revised curriculum contains 14 hours of training divided into eight lesson, each incorporating current adult learning principles to develop distinct goals, objectives, written content, and individual and group activities.  OPDV also developed a strict certification process for prospective instructors of the new curriculum.  This curriculum teaches to the amended domestic incident policy adopted in December, 2010. 
    • OPDV Educated Community About New Strangulation Law.  In order to address NYS’s new Strangulation Law, OPDV hosted three webinars for more than 200 registered participants from various disciplines.  The webinar covered the following topics:
      • Differences between the terms choking and strangulation.
      • Basic physiology of strangulation.
      • Forms/methods/types of strangulation.
      • Identifying and documenting signs and symptoms of strangulation.
      • Listening for and documenting a victim’s description of the experience.
      • Listening for and documenting a suspect’s statements or declarations while strangling a victim.
      • Charging New York’s strangulation laws, particularly the often underutilized felony statutes.
      • Identifying and charging other underlying or associated offenses.
      • Alleging the NYS strangulation statutes in family offense petitions.
  • Domestic Violence and the Workplace 
    • 2011 Data on Continued Implementation Through NYS Government.  NYS agencies continue to operate with a Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy in place and report pertinent domestic violence information to OPDV twice a year.  The following reflects the information reported by NYS agencies for 2011:
      • 86 Incidents of DV occurring in the workplace.
      • 173 Employees reporting that they were victims DV.
      • 119 Employees reporting others were victims of DV.
      • 327 Employees requesting DV information.
      • 262 Referrals made to NYS DV service providers.
      • 133 Orders of protections disclosed to agencies.
    • Assistance to City of Schenectady. OPDV provided assistance with policy development, technical assistance and training to the City of Schenectady.  The City adopted their Domestic Violence and the Workplace policy on September 26, 2011.  They are second NYS city to adopt the state’s workplace policy (Albany, NY adopted the policy in 2010).
    • Assistance to the NYC Housing Authority.  New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) requested technical assistance from OPDV to assist in development of a Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy.  After several conference calls and a preliminary draft, staff from NYCHA attended the OPDV Domestic Violence and the Workplace Training in Albany.  After training, revisions to the draft were made and submitted to OPDV for review.  NYCHA officially adopted their final policy in November, 2011.
    • Participation in Development of a Policy with The Office of U.N. Women.  The United Nations (U.N.), specifically The Office of U.N. Women, asked OPDV to participate in an Expert Group Meeting on Gender Based Violence and the Workplace. The objective of the Expert Group Meeting was to bring together external expertise from around the world to explore state of the art research and analysis, identify good practices and lessons learned, and gather social feedback for the development of an institutional policy for Gender Based Violence and the Workplace within the United Nations system.  In addition to a draft policy, the outcomes from the meeting included a report which contains an overview, complies good practice, captures challenges and proposed potential solutions and recommendations that fed into the draft model policy. The end products will be submitted for review and comment in 2012.
    • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and filed the bi-annual reports with OPDV.

For more information visit the OPDV website.

NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)
  • Continued supervision of Family Violence Option (FVO) through which Domestic Violence Liaisons (DVL’s) provide waivers from Temporary Assistance (TA) program  requirements  (i.e. employment, child support) to prevent endangering  a victim of domestic violence.
  • Continued to provide training on the FVO through contracts with the Professional Development Program and OPDV.
  • Supervised programs that assist victims of domestic violence with public assistance benefits and shelter expenses.
  • Continued mediation services for providers and local social services districts to help settle questionable domestic violence shelter payments.
  • Encouraged employees of OTDA to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month by wearing purple to work on October 19th.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and filed the bi-annual reports with OPDV.

For more information visit the OTDA website.

NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS)
  • OVS worked with the OGS Building Manager of the Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building located at 55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY  11217 to turn the building façade purple.  Filters were put in the outside lighting at the beginning of the month and remained until the end of October. 
On October 19th OPDV posters were hung in the lobby of the Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building located at 55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY  11217 and 1
  • Columbia Circle, Albany, NY  12203 and purple ribbons were distributed for people to affix to their clothing.
  • Domestic violence information regarding awareness and events were posted on the OVS website.
  • Maintained the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy and submitted bi-annual reports to OPDV.

For more information visit the OVS website