“The grim reality is that domestic violence occurs in every community in New York. This is not just a criminal justice issue, it is a public health crisis because domestic violence survivors often must miss work, incur medical bills, and find new, safe housing for their families. Raising awareness about this public health crisis is critical, as early intervention can mean the difference between life and death. It takes a tremendous amount of courage for survivors to come forward, and we must as a society do everything we can to provide resources and support for those who bring this crisis out of the shadows.
“As our understanding of the complexities of domestic violence evolves, so too must the tools available to prosecutors. I commend the State Legislature for passing the Aggravated Domestic Violence Bill earlier this year, which will enable my Office to better prosecute repeat domestic violence offenders and to protect the victims of these crimes. October must not only be a month of awareness, but a month of action, and I look forward to Governor Cuomo signing this important bill into law.
“My Office will continue working together with advocates, leaders, and survivors not only to bring domestic violence offenders to justice, but also to empower those who live in fear in their own homes. Tomorrow night, I will join Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and many advocates to ‘Shine the Light on Domestic Violence’ by lighting Times Square purple in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We know that strong laws are not enough – education and prevention are the keys to combating this pervasive public health crisis.”