The Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany illuminating the night sky in purple

Initiatives

While our portfolio of work is expansive, the initiatives listed below are our current main priorities.
Initiatives
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New York State Hotline

Access to confidential support services is key for victim safety. The Hotline is a resource for survivors, their loved ones and professionals. It runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Trained counselors provide services such as crisis intervention, supportive counseling, information and referral services and technical support to providers.

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence funds the Hotline.

Annual Datasheets

Enough is Enough

College students deserve a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment free from discrimination and violence. In July 2015, Enough is Enough was signed into law to address sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking on college campuses.

Enough is Enough was one of the first laws in the country to require:

  • All colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines.
  • A uniform definition of affirmative consent.
  • A statewide amnesty policy for bystanders or victims who report sexual assault.
  • A student’s bill of rights.
  • All campuses undertake campus climate surveys as well as prevention and awareness training.

The law also created the Enough is Enough funding program to support rape crisis programs to support colleges and universities' response and prevention needs. Today, NYSOPDV oversees the Enough is Enough funding program, funding 52 rape crisis programs across the state to help provide services to student survivors of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, as well as support colleges' implementation of the Enough is Enough law. Funded programs work to prevent campus sexual violence via education programming that considers the root causes of gender-based violence, promotes bystander intervention, and promotes healthy relationships. They provide student victims with trauma-informed advocacy, counseling, case management and safety planning services.

Public Awareness

Educating the public about domestic violence, and New York State’s efforts to combat the problem, is a priority for OPDV. Our public education initiatives include a variety of campaigns and outreach efforts to reach different populations about these important issues.

Current public awareness campaign priorities:

  • Getting help during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Teen dating abuse
  • Healthy Night Life, a 2020 State of the State Initiative 
  • Reproductive coercion, a 2020 State of the State Initiative
  • Sexual assault on college campuses, a 2021 State of the State initiative

Professional Development

Many professionals come in contact with victims of domestic and sexual violence. Increased knowledge of these complex issues means that more survivors can get the help they need.

To ensure that they can offer support and resources to survivors, we offer voluntary and mandated trainings to a variety of professions:

  • Child Protective Services and Child Welfare Workers;
  • Law Enforcement;
  • Corrections, Probation and Parole Officers;
  • Social Services Providers;
  • Service workers who receive training through the State Liquor Association, a 2020 State of the State initiative, and;
  • Appearance Enhancement Professionals who receive licensure through the Department of State.

 

Training

Training and technical assistance promote positive change in institutional responses to domestic violence. NYSOPDV offers these services on a variety of topics and intersecting issues to professionals and the community.

Current training priorities:

  • Domestic violence 101
  • Sexual violence 101
  • Risk reduction
  • Reproductive coercion, a 2020 State of the State initiative
  • Domestic violence and healthcare
  • Domestic violence and substance abuse
  • Domestic violence and mental health
  • Domestic violence and immigrant populations

Fatality Review & Technical Assistance

When a domestic violence fatality occurs, both victim and offender may have come into contact with different systems prior to the death. The NYS Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team conducts a confidential analysis of deaths or near-deaths that result from domestic violence. The goal is to learn from these cases and identify ways to improve overall response to domestic violence. The Team contains a combination of representatives from state and local agencies and systems.

To help communities the learn from the Fatality Review Team, NYSOPDV is provides technical assistance to community groups. Assistance includes helping communities analyze the Team’s findings as it relates to their local domestic violence response and providing training and technical assistance on specific issues. For more information on case referral or to discuss your local technical assistance needs, please email: [email protected].

In 2021, the NYS Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report to the Governor and Legislature was released.

Accountability Programs for Those Who Harm

Victims and survivors of domestic violence often request accountability programs as alternatives to the criminal justice system. To gather more information about best practices for these programs, NYSOPDV held a series of virtual public hearings to inform future efforts. A report detailing the findings of these hearings will be published in 2021.  

Housing

Access to safe and affordable housing is one of the most significant issues facing victims of domestic violence, and one this is filled with the most insurmountable obstacles to access.

This housing insecurity and lack of housing options adversely affects the safety options available for victims of domestic violence and their ability to leave an abusive relationship.  The more uncertainty a victim is facing when deciding whether to leave the abuser will result in more victims being stuck in dangerous households.

In response, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is collaborating with New York state agencies to address the housing needs of domestic violence survivors through the following initiatives:

Consolidated Funding: Create a consolidated funding application (CFA) to streamline and expedite the grant application process for domestic violence service provision. The CFA will serve as the single-entry point for access to domestic violence and sexual assault funding, eliminating the need for applicants to navigate multiple agencies, marking a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency.

Flex Financial Funding: Funding for local programs to support a range of survivors’ housing needs, including housing costs, transportation, safety measures and allocations for essential needs that might present barriers to safety and housing stability, such as debt or car repair expenses. Support is provided in a manner to meet survivors’ needs as quickly as possible and be available until survivors feel safe.

Housing Learning Consortium: The development of a  housing learning consortium is an opportunity for a state and local partnership to share innovations, ideas, best practices and challenges to inform New York State’s continued survivor-centered response to the housing needs of domestic violence survivors.  

 

Financial Stability

Domestic violence often leaves survivors jobless, cashless, bankless, and carrying coerced debt in their name with ruined credit profiles – forcing them to stay with or return to abusive partners. Recognizing the significant role financial stability plays in breaking the cycle of domestic violence, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence is embarking on the following initiatives:

Enhancing Survivor Consumer Protections: Partnering with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to create a direct line of contact with trained specialists within DFS’s consumer assistance hotline to refer domestic violence financial abuse survivors. DFS’s consumer assistance specialists will work with providers and survivors to share resources, investigate cases, and provide guidance to survivors to aid them in their financial recovery efforts.   

Screening for Financial Abuse: Due to its prevalence, screening and assessing for financial abuse should be a core part of services conducted across all domestic violence service provision. NYSOPDV will work with providers to institute a methodology to screening and responding to financial abuse.

 

New York State Domestic Violence Dashboard

The annual New York State Domestic Violence Dashboard details trends and key indicators related to the prevalence of, and response to, domestic violence within the state. The Dashboard aims to inform policy and practice by providing information from a range of systems about the availability of resources and programs statewide. (See PDF)

Please refer to the Domestic Violence Dashboard Guide for an overview of the Dashboard and a summary of data points added by year. Please email [email protected] to obtain Dashboards from previous years.