Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Summary of New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws by Subject (beginning from 1995)

Subject Categories

Crime Victim Rights/Compensation/Services
Crime Victim Compensation/Eligible Documents – A.3936 Pretlow/S.8751 Sepulveda

Authorizes the Crime Victims Board to accept documents from sources other than currently defined criminal justice agencies, in order to establish eligibility for compensation in family offense cases. New sources include Family Courts, child or adult protective government agencies, and medical facilities that provide rape and sexual assault forensic exams.

Signed: October 1, 2018  Chapter 295
Effective: October 31, 2018
Amends:  Executive Law §631(1)

Crime Victim Compensation/Crime Scene Clean-up/Shelter Costs – A.10275 Peoples-Stokes/S.7993 Gallivan

Provides compensation for expenses incurred for a domestic violence shelter stay.  Also covers the cost of crime scene clean-up for victims of specified crimes where there was no physical injury. This change will assist victims of a hate crime and victims of offenses that often occur in domestic violence cases, such as menacing, harassment, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, etc.

Signed: August 22, 2018  Chapter 204
Effective:  February 18, 2019
Amends: Executive Law §631(12)

Crime Victim Compensation/Non-physical Injury Crimes - A.3005-C/S.2005-C

Adds menacing (2nd and 3rd degrees), criminal mischief (4th degree), and robbery (1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees) to the list of crimes eligible for victim compensation where there was no physical injury.  Compensation may be provided for loss of earnings, personal property loss, security devices, expenses for necessary court appearances, counseling, securing a crime scene, relocation, and occupational or job training.       

Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: Part G
Effective: October 17, 2017
Amends:  Executive Law §631 (11) and (12)

Crime Victim Awards/Financial Difficulty Requirement – A.6943 Peoples-Stokes/S.4913 Gallivan

Eliminates the requirement to prove financial difficulty in order to receive crime victim compensation, unless the award is for $10,000 or more.  The requirement had been in effect for awards of $5,000 or more.

Signed: September 25, 2015 Chapter 263

Effective: September 25, 2015

Amends: Executive Law §631(6)(a)

Crime Victim Awards/Grandchildren – A.8235 Peoples-Stokes/S.5956 Gallivan

Adds grandchildren to the list of relatives of a homicide victim who are eligible for crime victim compensation for counseling services.

Effective: August 13, 2015

Amends: Executive Law §624(1)(b)

Defendant Name Change/Victim Request – A.5007-A Perry/S.1744-A Carlucci

Requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Office of Victim Services to develop and distribute a uniform form that prosecutors can give to crime victims who wish to be notified of any name change petition filed by the defendant in their case.

Signed: October 26, 2015 Chapter 394

Effective: November 25, 2015

Amends: Executive Law §631(6)(a)

Crime Victim Compensation/Relocation Expenses - A.6900 Englebright / S.4344 Gallivan

Allows the Office of Victim Services to include expenses of other household members, and not just those of the victim, when making an award for relocation expenses.

Signed: July 31, 2013 Chapter 261

Effective: October 5, 2013

Amends: Executive Law §621(23)

Counseling for Relatives of Homicide Victims (A.9898 Schimel/S.6848 Nozzolio)

Amends Executive Law to include additional relatives of homicide victims who will be eligible to receive awards from the Office of Victim Services. Guardians, siblings and step-siblings of a victim who died as a direct result of a crime will now be eligible to receive an award for counseling expenses.

Signed: 2012 Chapter 233

Effective: July 18, 2012

Amends: Executive Law §624(1)(b)

Crime Victim Compensation/Victims of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation (A.8091 Markey/S.4084 Nozzolio)

Allows the NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS, formerly Crime Victims Board) to make awards to victims of the crime of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, even if the victim did not sustain a physical injury. Victims of the physical injury crimes of strangulation, first and second degree, were already eligible for crime victim compensation. The law applies to all pending and new awards made by OVS.

Signed: 2011 Chapter 534

Effective: December 22, 2011

Amends: Executive Law §631(12)

Crime Victim Compensation /Child Victims (A.8060 Markey/S.3402 Hassell-Thompson)

Clarifies that the Crime Victims Board (CVB) may make certain awards to child victims, including compensation for certain personal property damage, expenses of transportation to court, and counseling expenses, even in the absence of physical injury. This is a technical amendment that clarifies conflicting language regarding child victims in the Executive Law and codifies what has been CVB practice.

Signed: 2009 Chapter 272

Effective: July 28, 2009

Amends: Executive Law §631(17)

Crime Victim Compensation /Written Explanation (S.3124-A Spano/A.1236-A Dinowitz)

Requires the deciding Crime Victims Board member to explain in writing why an award decision departs from precedent or the typical outcome of cases with similar facts.

Signed: 2006 Chapter 167

Effective: August 25, 2006

Amends: Executive Law §627(7)

Crime Victim Compensation/Relocation Expenses (A.8526 Weinstein / S5196 Nozzolio)

Defines relocation expenses awarded by the Crime Victims Board to mean the reasonable cost of moving and transportation, when relocation is necessary for the health or safety of a victim. An award for relocation expenses cannot exceed twenty-five hundred dollars.

Signed: 2005 Chapter 377

Effective: August 2, 2005

Amends: Executive Law §§621(23); 631(2); 631(12)

Crime Victim Compensation/Financial Hardship Cap (A.4466 DiNapoli/S.4811 Skelos)

Increases the amount of rent or property value that can be exempted when calculating assets in determining financial hardship for crime victim compensation. Raises the cap from $100,000 to $500,000 for valuing a home and increases the cap for rent from five to ten years.

Signed: 2005 Chapter 322

Effective: July 26, 2005

Amends: Executive Law §631(6)(b)(1)

Crime Victim Compensation/Pre-Existing Condition (A.6717 Paulin/S.3660 Spano)

Defines out-of-pocket losses to include expenses incurred as a result of the exacerbation of a pre-existing disability or condition. Specifically includes public/private educational expenses or tutoring for a child victim.

Signed: 2005 Chapter 408

Effective: August 2, 2005

Amends: Executive Law §§626(1); 627(1); (4) and (7); 628(4); 631(1)

Crime Victims Board Filing Extension (A.4516 Mayersohn/S.193 Maltese)

Allows the Crime Victims Board to process and pay claims after the filing deadline, in cases where a victim was unaware of the existence of benefits.

Signed: 2001 Chapter 359

Effective: October 3, 2001

Amends: Executive Law §625(2)

Parole Board Toll Free Access (A.6280 Englebright/S.3253 Lavalle)

Requires the state board of parole to provide toll free telephone access for crime victims wishing to contact the board regarding an inmate's release.

Signed: 1999 Chapter 126

Effective: June 29, 1999

Amends: Executive Law §259-i(2)(c)

Crime Victim Compensation/Spouse and Children (A.8408-B Koon/S.3776-B Nozzolio)

Provides compensation for counseling for the spouse and children of victims of crime who have sustained personal physical injury as the direct result of a crime.

Signed: 1999 Chapter 427

Effective: August 31, 1999

Amends: Executive Law §§624(1) to add new paragraph (j); 626(1)

Crime Victims Board Records/Confidentiality (A.8184 DiNapoli/S.5183 Nozzolio)

Adds a new section to the Executive Law to require that records and proceedings of the Crime Victims Board, regarding specific claims filed by victims, be kept confidential, with some exceptions, such as criminal justice purposes, judicial subpoenas, etc.

Signed: 1998 Chapter 64

Effective: May 21, 1998

Amends: Executive Law §633

Crime Victim Compensation /”Stalking” Modification (A.8898-A Feldman/S.6503 Balboni)

Extends crime victim benefits to victims of harassment, menacing and other similar non-physical injury offenses. Benefits are limited to loss of earnings, replacement of personal property, cost of security devices for personal protection, counseling and occupational or job training.

Signed: 1998 Chapter 443

Effective: July 22, 1998

Amends: Executive Law §631(12)

Crime Victim Compensation/ Extended Family (A.10388 Koon/S.6611 Nozzoli)

Expands eligibility for counseling for crime victims to grandparents and members of a victim's step family.

Signed: 1998 Chapter 276

Effective: July 10, 1998

Amends: Executive Law §§624(1)(b) and (h); 626

Crime Victim Rights/Employment Protection (A.8763-A Feldman/S.6257-A Hoblock)

Prohibits an employer from penalizing or firing an employee, who, as the victim of a criminal offense, exercises his or her rights as provided in Criminal Procedure Law, the Family Court Act, and the Executive Law, including the need to appear in court or consult with a district attorney. If the victim of a crime is deceased as a result of the offense, the next of kin is afforded the same protection. The bill also covers a representative of the victim, or a good Samaritan, as defined by law.

Signed: 1996 Chapter 331

Effective: November 1, 1996

Amends: Penal Law §215.14