Overview of the Issue
On-Scene Assistance to Victims and Dependants
- Do not leave the scene of the incident until the situation is under control & the
likelihood of immediate violence has been eliminated.
- Stand by for a reasonable amount of time while victims or other persons desiring to leave gather necessities for short-term absences from home, such as clothing, medication, and necessary documents.
- Notify the victim orally or in writing of the availability of a shelter, including its telephone number, or other services in the community, and of civil and criminal remedies.
- If an arrest is made or an arrest warrant obtained:
- Advise the victim of what procedure will happen next, However, do not indicate or ensure the victim that the accused will remain in custody for any period of time; and
- Obtain from the victim information to be included in the arrest report indicating any special conditions of bail that should be requested at the initial appearance before the magistrate (i.e., places where the accused should be specifically prohibited from appearing).
When a victim of domestic violence is elderly or physically dependent, the accused is the sole caretaker and an arrest is indicated, or when the victim of domestic violence is the sole caretaker of an elder or of a physically dependent person, and the victim can no longer provide care (as, for example, when the victim is hospitalized):
- Determine whether the elder or physically dependent person is physically endangered, either as a result of the abuse, a preexisting medical condition, or the absence of a caretaker.
- Ask the elder or physically dependent person for the name of a relative or friend who can be contacted immediately to assist the elder or physically dependent person.
- Facilitate transportation of the elder or physically dependent person to a relative or friend, if one can be found.
- Advise the elder or physically dependent person of the availability
of protective services through *Adult Protective Services. If there
is no one available to assist the elder or physically dependent person,
or if the elder or physically dependent person appears not to be
- Make an emergency referral to Adult Protective Services.
- Remain at the residence until the Adult Protective Services worker arrives, or
- Transport the elder or physically dependent person to a medical facility, or other appropriate place where the elder or physically dependent person can wait for the worker.
While the elderly are at particular risk for multiple forms of abuse and neglect by family, acquaintances, caretakers, and others with whom they may have intimate relationships and upon who they may depend for daily care, medication, and basic survival, adult abuse is actually defined to encompass the mistreatment of an impaired adult, age 18 or over, who may be dependent on someone else for basic needs. This often includes individuals who suffer from physical, mental, and/or psychological disabilities and impairments, and any time you suspect such abuse you should assist the potential victim with calling 1-800-342-3009. This phone number will allow you to locate the agency nearest the potential victim so that adult protective services can respond promptly. The Protective Services for Adults program, provided through local county departments of social services, has the legal responsibility to investigate alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of impaired adults, age 18 and over, who live in the community.
When the victim of abuse is a minor child:
- Arrest the accused as applicable under the law, especially if the law enforcement officer observes the commission of a crime.
- Report to Child Protective Services, as required by Social Service Law § 413
- If the child is physically injured:
- Facilitate the transportation of the child to the nearest hospital for treatment.
- Provide the victim notification to an adult caretaker of the child who is not the perpetrator of the abuse.
If the accused is arrested and was the sole caretaker of a child, and/or if the victim is the sole caretaker of a child and can no longer provide care (as, for example, when the victim is hospitalized), or in cases where both caretakers are arrested:
- Determine whether there is a responsible relative who can care for the child.
- Contact that relative and await the relative’s arrival.
If no responsible relative is available:
- Contact Child Protective Services.
- Remain at the residence until a protective services worker arrives; or
- Take the child into custody pursuant to the Social Service Law § 417.