Package to Combat Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Violence as Part of 2021 State of the State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a comprehensive package of initiatives to combat domestic violence and gender-based violence as part of the 2021 State of the State. The package includes a proposal allowing courts to require abusers to pay for damages to the housing unit, moving expenses, and other housing costs related to domestic violence, as well as a proposal to require the Office of Court Administration report domestic violence felony statistics to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services monthly.  

Additionally, the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence will be transformed into a reimagined agency, the Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, and will be tasked with addressing the intersection of the many forms of intimate partner violence, including domestic violence and sexual violence, in a survivor-centered and comprehensive manner.

“One of the most horrific results of this pandemic has been the stark rise in cases of domestic and gender-based violence,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York has long been a national leader in the fight to end these despicable acts and we will continue to blaze the path forward toward a safer future for all. Not only are we fighting to ensure abusers are forced to pay for the damage they create and strengthening our laws to keep guns out of their hands, but we are also reimagining the way government supports survivors and gets them the resources they need to move on with their lives.”

Attached to this is also a plan to limit those charged with certain “domestic abuse misdemeanors” to be banned from purchasing firearms in New York State. According to the Governor, these types of misdemeanors are a “loophole.” Currently, other misdemeanors that restrict citizens from purchasing firearms, according to New York State law, include varying stalking, child endangerment or sex crimes.