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NYC DA delivers testimony to city council regarding domestic violence  

NEW YORK - Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., testified before committees of the City Council, urging the Council to pass a resolution in support of the state Legislature’s passage of the bipartisan Aggravated Domestic Violence bill (S.1510 Golden-Squadron /A.1986 Rosenthal), which would create a class E felony charge for offenders who repeatedly engage in domestic violence offenses. Hundreds of domestic violence incidents are reported to law enforcement every day in New York City, and domestic violence remains one of the only areas of crime that has not seen a reduction in the past decade.

It is no exaggeration to say that over the past several months, newspapers have reported nearly non-stop domestic violence headlines”, Vance testified.  “Virtually every week the public is saddened and horrified by the news of another domestic violence related murder.“

According to the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, 38 percent of domestic violence victims are abused again within 6 months. But under current law, domestic violence offenders who commit misdemeanor offenses face the same sentence on their 10th or 100th conviction as they do on their first.

The proposed bill creates a new class E felony for an abuser who commits two or more misdemeanor domestic violence offenses within five years, including those involving intimate partners, non-traditional familial relationships, and adult children abusing parents. Under an E felony charge, the defendants could be placed under probation supervision for five years, and in more serious cases, could be sent to state prison for up to four years. This law would also extend the period of time for orders of protection because felony orders cover periods almost twice as long as those in misdemeanor cases.