Dashboard Project, Local Agencies Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

Legislative column by Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski)

In 2008, New York State began to compile statewide statistics involving “intimate partner violence.” New York State Domestic Violence Dashboard Project cultivates reports from 550 police departments, 99 domestic violence hotlines, more than 200 hospital emergency rooms and over 1,000 specialized courts. The statistics are alarming, to say the least, and go to show the need for continued awareness of domestic and intimate partner violence throughout our communities.

Here are some recent statistics on intimate partner violence (IPV) from data compiled from 2007. The Dashboard Project distinguishes IPV statistics from domestic violence because domestic violence can also include familial violence:

  • In 2007, the annual report found that 43 percent of all adult women murdered in 2007 were killed by intimate partners.
  • An estimated 400,000 domestic incidents were reported to law enforcement agencies.
  • Intimate partner violence represents 26 percent of sexual and other assaultive offenses reported to police.
  • The courts handled over 23,500 cases of domestic violence.
  • 205,799 orders of protection were issued.
  • Certified shelter providers in New York housed 7,282 adults and 8,721 children.
  • The Department of Health estimates that dating violence for public high school females in New York City has risen almost 50 percent since 1999.

Local domestic abuse hotlines and places where victims of violence can go for safety are essential to saving lives. In Onondaga County, Vera House (315-468-3260), The Spanish Action League of Onondaga County (315-427-3315), and the Salvation Army (315-479-1332) offer hotlines and various other services to assist victims. Counseling and shelter are available to those in need. In Oswego County, Services to Aid Families maintains a 24-hour hotline at (315) 342-1600.

Vera House will host its White Ribbon Campaign April 9-18. Thousands of Central New Yorkers will wear a white ribbon or white wristband to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence. The White Ribbon Campaign is led by men and encourages all members of the community to join them in their efforts. This male leadership helps to acknowledge the important contributions men have made to this effort and invites others to take a role. To learn more, visit the Vera Houe Web site.

There is legislation that I support that would make strangulation a felony. This change would go far to protect victims of domestic violence where “strangulation” is used as a method of intimidating and controlling the victim. Often with strangulation, there are no clear signs of injury because the pressure necessary to cause pain, stupor and/or unconsciousness can be less than the pressure required to leave a bruise or other mark and the difference between unconsciousness and death can be mere minutes. Therefore, under current law, as assault requires physical injury, choking is often only prosecuted as harassment in the second degree, the equivalent of disorderly conduct. This legislation clearly designates strangulation as a felony, recognizing its seriousness, making prosecution easier.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling (315) 598-5185.