Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Domestic Violence Annual Report 2009


Policies, Projects and Programs

During 2009 the following members of the NYS DV Advisory Council developed new policies and/or participated in domestic violence projects and programs:

NYS Office for the Aging (OFA)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.
    For more information visit the NYS OFA website.
NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)
  • OASAS treatment providers added questions about domestic violence to the discharge form used throughout their facilities. With 164,456 clients discharged from programs in 2009, 12,319 (7.5%) identified themselves as victims of domestic violence and 5,500 (3.34%) identified themselves as perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • Implemented Executive Order #19
  • Participated in Domestic Violence Awareness Day by requesting that employees wear purple to promote awareness
  • Promoted/organized the donation of old cell phones for use by victims of domestic violence

For more information visit: the OASAS website

NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.
  • Participated in Domestic Violence Awareness Day by encouraging staff to wear purple. On “Purple Day” employees from the Domestic Violence Unit staffed display tables answering questions and disseminating literature.
  • On-going co-facilitation with OPDV and OTDA of the Domestic Violence Regulatory Workgroup. The workgroup is re-assessing the regulations that govern domestic violence programs and will make recommendations for improvements aligned to current issues and practices. The creation of a final regulatory proposal package is anticipated in 2010.
  • Participated in a workgroup with the Federal Family Violence Prevention Fund in Washington, DC, focused on the Federal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR). This resulted in the publication of “Strategies to Improve Domestic Violence Responses in CFSR Program Improvement Plans.”
  • Using the data available in the Domestic Violence Information System, a new profile has been developed for each county, providing information about the approved residential and non-residential domestic violence programs in the county as well as data and trends related to occupancy rates and length of stay.
  • Collaborated with Oswego County Opportunities and the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children on a federal grant to assist children exposed to domestic violence. Guidelines were developed for providing supervised visitation services to families experiencing DV. Supervised visitation guidance will be further enhanced through an additional grant administered by OPDV.
  • Issued a request for proposals to start new and/or continue existing Child Protective/Domestic Violence collaboration projects. Eleven projects were selected for funding. In each funded project a domestic violence advocate is located at the CPS office and typically provides case consultation, participates in home visits and cross training and works jointly with case workers to develop safety plans with victims of domestic violence and their children.
  • Federal Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FFVPSA) funds were administered equally to all approved residential and non-residential domestic violence programs in the state on a non-competitive basis. Each of the 96 applicants was eligible to receive an award of up to $37,155 to support general operating expenses, health and safety improvements and/or program enhancements.

For more information visit the OCFS website

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV)
  • The Annual Meeting, for the first time, included state partners, OPDV, OTDA, and OCFS to communicate directly with membership.
  • Received a Rural Grant from Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) in order to provide domestic violence services to New York’s more rural counties.
  • Expanded collaboration with the Brain Injury Association of New York State to address the intersecting needs of TBI and domestic violence survivors.

For more information visit:

NYS Department of Corrections (DOCS)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19 and added their updated “Domestic Violence and the Workplace Policy,” Directive #2003 to the Departmental Directives.

For more information visit DOCS website.

Office of Court Administration (OCA)
  • Implemented Domestic Violence Workplace Policy, offered work/life assistance, domestic and sexual violence hotline and contact information for all 62 NY counties.
  • The 40 domestic violence courts in NYS, each staffed by a designated judge, saw more than 35,000 new cases.
  • The 3 jurisdictions with high case loads, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Yonkers have separate domestic violence courts designated as youthful offender domestic violence courts (YODVC’s).
  • Established integrated domestic violence court initiatives (IDVIs) in seven counties, 3 in the fifth judicial district and 4 in the seventh judicial districts. Unlike IDV courts, the IDVIs do not involve the transfer of cases to one court; the cases remain where they are but have many of the same benefits of IDV courts including better information to judges regarding the status of related cases in other courts, enhanced training for judges and court staff, better integration with services and judicial monitoring of offenders. The 7 IDVIs served 80 families with 251 cases. For more information visit: the OCA website.
  • The 45 integrated domestic violence (IDV) courts in NYS, using a “one family – one judge model, saw more than 17,000 new cases.

For more information visit the OCA website

NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.
  • Operation IMPACT significantly integrated recognition of domestic violence into its work. This program provides resources and services to the 17 counties and primary law enforcement jurisdictions outside of NYC that account for approximately 80% of the non-NYC crime. Certain jurisdictions focused their IMPACT actions on domestic violence. That activity for the year in the jurisdictions is as follows:
    Albany County IMPACT Partnership:

    The Albany Police Department was provided funding through Operation IMPACT to hire a DV Intake Specialist, who would review all domestic violence cases in order to intervene early to provide referrals to victims, and to assist in identifying appropriate cases to refer to the Albany Domestic Violence Court. With funding provided through Operation IMPACT, the Albany Police Department was able to enhance an already effective domestic violence program that existed in collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office and various service providers in the city.

    Erie County IMPACT Partnership: The Buffalo Police Department was awarded funding in 2009 to increase compliance checks based on the review of domestic incident reports and to update their records management system to include the ability to record and search the database for domestic violence crimes.

    Niagara County IMPACT Partnership: Niagara Falls Police Department’s domestic violence strategy includes enhancement of the Domestic Violence Impact Team, a collaborative effort of the police department, sheriff’s office, and probation department. Enhancements include deliberate follow-up on every domestic incident report filed, stricter enforcement of orders of protection, and regular execution of domestic violence-related warrants. The Niagara County District Attorney’s Office also added a policy that would limit the ability of domestic violence offenders to reduce their charges through plea bargaining.

    Dutchess County IMPACT Partnership: In 2009, the Poughkeepsie Police Department was awarded funding that would allow specially- trained officers to conduct “well checks” two times per week at the homes of domestic violence victims who have an order of protection filed against their abuser. They also partnered with the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) to conduct a public service campaign that included raising awareness with regard to the purpose of NYSCADV and educating city residents on the crime of domestic violence including the causes, nature and patterns of the abuse and the negative ramifications of domestic violence for not only the victim of the abuse, but for the community as a whole.

    Rensselaer County IMPACT Partnership: The Troy Police Department used IMPACT funding to assign a full time investigator to conduct follow-up and investigations on all cases where a domestic incident report was filed, while the District Attorney’s Office committed to provide follow-up and resources to all victims of domestic violence and to investigate domestic violence cases to ensure prosecution even in the absence of victim cooperation.

    Oneida County IMPACT Partnership: One component of the Oneida County 2009 IMPACT strategy to reduce violent crime is the enhancement of the Domestic Violence Interdiction Program, which partners the Utica PD, the District Attorney’s Office and Probation in identifying, tracking, and prosecuting chronic domestic violence offenders in Utica.

  • DCJS recently revamped the NYS Sexual Offense Evidence Collection Kit, often referred to as the “rape kit” to reflect advances in DNA technology and to streamline an inevitably discomforting physical examination. DCJS also produced an instruction training video on how to use the kit for medical professionals that features award winning actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
  • Domestic Incident Report Repository: In 2009 the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence announced the creation of a statewide “Domestic Incident Report” repository. A domestic incident report is completed whenever the police respond, it contains a wealth of information including: if weapons were present at the location or threats were made, victim and defendant information, and location. However, those hard-copy reports, which are typically filed chronologically with each department and DCJS, are not conducive to cross-referencing or data-mining.
  • The repository will give police officers, sheriff’s deputies, prosecutors, probation and parole officials the ability to search – by victim or offender name, incident address or document number –Domestic Incident Reports (DIRs) filed by more than 550 police agencies in the 57 counties outside of New York City. This allows authorized users to access DIR’s regardless of which agency filed the paper report. This cross pollination of information will be crucial to victim and officer safety and effective prosecution of domestic violence cases. The repository is due for completion in 2011. For more information visit the DCJS website.
NYS Domestic Violence Advisory Council
  • The Council met twice in 2009 providing domestic violence information and updates from various agencies and systems.
  • The NYS Domestic Violence Annual Report is now a product of the Council. The focus of the Council’s efforts for 2010 will be Teen Dating Violence.
NYS Education Department (SED)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.
  • Promoted October as “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

For more information visit the NYS Education Department website.

NYS Department of Health (DOH)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19
  • The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is an on-going telephone and mail survey of mothers who have recently had a baby. New mothers are asked several questions related to domestic violence, for example:

    During the 12 months before you got pregnant, did an ex-husband or ex-partner push, hit, slap, kick, choke, or physically hurt you in any other way?

    During the 12 months before you got pregnant, were you physically hurt in anyway by your husband or partner?

    During your most recent pregnancy, did an ex-husband or ex-partner push, hit, slap, kick, choke or physically hurt you in any other way?

    During your most recent pregnancy, were you physically hurt in anyway by your husband or partner?
  • The Adolescent Health Program helps community based organizations create, implement and enhance education programming and services that promote individual and groups skills to form positive dating/sexual relationships, enhance partner communication skills, set appropriate boundaries, reduce anger and violent behaviors, act responsibly, and to communicate with parents and other trusted adults. Programming also directs adolescents to domestic violence services within their communities.

For more information visit the NYS Department of Health website.

NYS Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.

For more information visit the NYS Department of Labor website.

NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19
  • “This Isn’t Love” materials and resource links to web based information were distributed to The NYS Psychiatric Facilities and Outpatient Programs. In addition 61 OMH youth and children’s programs including Family Based Treatment, Community Residences, Teaching Family Homes, Crisis Residences and Waiver Providers and Clinics were given the same campaign information.
  • Several facilities participated in Domestic Violence Awareness Month by collecting used cell phones to be refurbished for use by victims of domestic violence, and by setting up information tables to share information about domestic violence and community resources.

For more information visit the OMH website.

NYS Division of Parole (DOP)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.
  • Implemented Domestic Violence Manual Item 9401.07 which instructs Parole staff in identification, investigation and response to domestic violence incidents/cases providing direction in the supervision of releases with a history of domestic violence behavior.
  • Incorporated and expanded their Domestic Violence Alert process and reporting system on their Case Management System.
  • Partnered with OPDV on collaborative GTEAP training grant (See NYSOPDV for more information).
  • Updated the Offender Accountability and Victims Services Resource guide.
  • Collaborated on development of Domestic Incident Report (DIR) policy and procedure with NYS Police, and NYS Association of Chiefs of Police and local municipalities.

For more information visit the NYS Division of Parole website.

NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19
  • Coordinated Reporting Project: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds were used to conduct a feasibility study regarding the creation and/or adoption of a uniform reporting system for agencies receiving domestic violence and/or sexual assault funds from any NYS government agency. The goal is to reduce the burden on providers that have to report similar information to many different funders, as well as to assist NYS in improving data collection. Key stakeholders will select the best technological solution, and seek to implement.
  • Operation IMPACT: OPDV expanded its efforts with Operation IMPACT, an initiative of DCJS that supports strategic crime-fighting and violence reduction initiatives in the 17 counties outside of NYC that account for 80% of the crime upstate and on Long Island. Whereas 2008 involved the building of relationships between OPDV and the district attorneys and police chiefs within each of the IMPACT counties, the focus for 2009 was the Executive IMPACT conference, held on November 17, 2009, in Saratoga Springs, NY. The conference, titled Reducing Domestic Violence: Coordinated Strategies for Operation IMPACT Executives, planned in partnership with DCJS, provided training, panel discussions, and interactive participation on the issues of coordinated, collaborative approaches to reducing and responding to domestic violence for an audience of 160 police, probation, parole, and district attorney executives and crime analyst staff. Featured speaker and national DV researcher/trainer Dr. Andrew Klein provided the framework for the day by sharing best practices and model approaches for communities, while several IMPACT counties and their collaborative approaches to DV were highlighted in various presentations throughout the day. OPDV has provided ongoing follow-up training to IMPACT jurisdictions based on the information and materials presented at the conference, and continues to receive positive feedback on strengthened relationships and overall DV response efforts within communities who are part of IMPACT and who continue to reach out to OPDV for support and information.
  • GTEAP: OPDV received Grants to Encourage Arrest Program (GTEAP) funding from the Office on Violence Against Women to administer a six-agency, state level partnership consisting of: OPDV (, DCJS, Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, OPCA, Division of Parole (DOP), the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA), and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV). Partners will focus on the development of written curricula, on-site training, and the creation and promulgation of interactive training tools addressing the three high priority topics of Offender Accountability, Interview Techniques for Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Victims, and Expanded Access. While this 2-year grant will be piloted within four (4) NYS jurisdictions, the finalized interactive training tools will be promulgated statewide to ensure consistent, long-term, ongoing delivery of training and information throughout the State for police, probation, parole, Domestic Violence Advocates, and Sexual Assault Advocates.
  • Community Corrections: OPDV expanded its long-term relationship with the NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA) by partnering with the NYS Division of Parole (DOP), recognizing the need to simultaneously work with the two agencies that provide Community Corrections oversight within New York State. OPDV provided programmatic, legal, and cultural competency review and comment on the revision of existing Supervision and Investigation documents previously created under a Grants to Encourage Arrest Program partnership, combining the two original documents into one larger, more succinct model procedural package for investigating and supervising domestic violence offenders. Within this effort, OPDV also provided input regarding the safest ways for Probation and Parole to work with victims of domestic violence offenders under supervision, and supported the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence in providing best practice recommendations regarding safety planning, information sharing, and victims’ ability to access the criminal justice system with relevance to their ongoing cases and concerns. OPDV also assisted in the creation of a Stalking document and an Officer-Involved DV document for community corrections. Both are currently in the final review stages and will be promulgated to Probation and Parole departments statewide during the summer of 2010. OPDV continues to work with OPCA and DOP to provide training, support, and technical assistance to Probation and Parole departments statewide on the supervision and response to domestic violence offenders and victims.
  • Expanded Access to Family Court: In July of 2008 the New York State Legislature expanded access to Family Court by broadening the definition of ‘members of the same family or household’ to include ‘… persons . . . who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time.’ The legislature anticipated that this expanded definition would result in an increase in the number of family offense petitions filed in family court, as well as have an impact on law enforcement called on to respond to a greater number of domestic incidents. In recognition of the increased demand on the legal system and law enforcement resources, the legislation includes a mandate that the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV), in conjunction with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), submit a report detailing the effects of the amendment on police practices.
    OPDV is collecting information from stakeholders with regard to the implementation and impact of the new law on the relevant communities. First, OPDV will work with our partners from the Office of Court Administration, the New York City Police Department, and DCJS to collect and analyze available data regarding court filings and police response. Second, we will host a series of statewide conversations with a broad range of advocates, legal services providers, and other interested people, to hear about local experiences regarding implementation. Finally, OPDV will track how the courts are defining “intimate relationship” through the analysis of the written decisions based on the new amendment. All information will help us to develop a comprehensive picture of the effect of this legislation which will be included in the report to the legislature due in July, 2011.
  • Domestic Violence Regulation Work Group: Starting in July of 2008, state agencies, domestic violence service providers and local department of social service staff met for the first time in more than 30 years to discuss the revision of the NYS Regulations for Domestic Violence Services. The state agencies – Office of Children and Family Services, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence – collaborated with domestic violence advocates and local social service district staff to ensure as inclusive a process as possible. These meetings resulted in a list of potential long and short term revisions to the regulations. The issues to be addressed range from residential program operations, including staffing patterns, volunteer oversight and hotline staffing to clarifications based on changes in the law. The three state agencies are committed to moving forward a list of short term proposed changes by the end of the year, and will revive the conversation on the longer term changes in a second phase. Information on the progress of the work group can be found on the OPDV and OCFS websites.For more information visit: the OCFS website
  • Domestic Violence and the Workplace: A year after the signing of Executive Order #19, the Domestic Violence and the Workplace Program submitted its first annual report to the Governor.

Highlights from the report that reflect information reported by NYS Agencies from 8/1/08 through 7/31/09 include:

  • 49 Incidents of DV occurring in the workplace
  • 232 Employees reporting they were victims of DV
  • 67 Employees reporting others were victims of DV
  • 376 Employees requesting DV information
  • 301 Referrals made to DV service providers
  • 92 Orders of protection were disclosed to agencies

The program continues providing technical assistance to state agencies as issues in the workplace arise and is exploring ways to expand domestic violence policy work to NYS municipalities.

  • Domestic Violence Dashboard: In 2009, for the second year, the Dashboard Project released a document that tries to paint a picture of both the prevalence of domestic violence, and the strength of New York State’s response to it, based on available information. Although two years cannot yet identify ongoing trends, the data suggested that New York, like many other places, experienced an increase in indicators of domestic violence between 2007 and 2008. By collecting this cross-system data, we are improving our ability to measure the totality of the domestic violence challenge in our state, and identifying that there is an even greater need for our systems to work together.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Informational materials were developed by OPDV, the Brain Injury Association of NYS (BIANYS) and the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV). TBI materials were sent to domestic violence agencies during Brain Injury Awareness Month, and domestic violence materials went out to brain injury service providers during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
  • Federal Safe Havens Grant: In partnership with Safe Horizon and Oswego County Opportunities, OPDV wrote and received a federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, for a 3-year project on supervised visitation. The grant will fund centers in Brooklyn and Oswego counties, and enable OPDV to coordinate the development of statewide guidelines for supervised visitation in domestic violence and child abuse cases.
  • “When Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Intersect: Tools to Engage the Family”: In October, the second annual regional forums were held in Buffalo, Syracuse and Tarrytown. OPDV provided 212 CPS and CW workers with the opportunity to listen to and engage with local and national speakers.
NYS Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.
  • Advanced departmental legislation and worked collaboratively with NYS Police, NYS Association of Chiefs of Police and NYS Sheriffs Association to ensure that Domestic Incident Reports (DIR’s) are shared with probation and parole authorities to increase offender accountability and reduce domestic violence fatality. This initiative was included in the Governor’s Omnibus Bill which was later passed into law (Chapter 476 of the Laws of 2009) on 12/15/09.
  • Conducted 11 regional collaboration meetings for 261 community partners from 36 different counties, involving probation, law enforcement, prosecutors and domestic violence advocates to assist with the implementation of new law.
  • Completed draft packages of “Probation Officer Involved Domestic Violence Model Policy, Probation Response to Intimate Partner Stalking” and “Probation Domestic Violence Integrated Package.”
  • Participated in National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, provided confidential resources and collected cell phones for victims.

For more information visit the OPCA website. *Formally Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA)

NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)
  • Implemented Executive Order #19.
  • Continued supervision of Family Violence Option (FVO) through which Domestic Violence Liaisons (DVL’s) provide waivers from social service program requirements (i.e. employment, child support) if participation would further endanger a victim of domestic violence.
  • Supervised programs that assist victims of domestic violence with public assistance benefits and shelter expenses.
  • Continued mediation services for providers and local social services district to help settle questionable payments.
  • Participated in Domestic Violence Awareness Month: encouraged staff to wear purple on October 14th; collected 116 cell phones for victims of domestic violence; set up a domestic violence information booth in the lobby of OTDA home office.
  • Awarded New Destiny Housing Corporation $4,800,000 in HHAP funds for the new construction of an eight-story, 41 unit/95 bed permanent housing facility for Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Concourse/Highbridge section of the Bronx. This project will include 21 units/52 beds for HHAP with the remaining units reserved for low-income families from the community.

For more information visit the OTDA website.

Saratoga County District Attorney
  • Institutionalized the DIR process by indexing and cataloging DIRS historically back through and including 1997. This county-wide database receives DIR’s from the 14 law enforcement agencies in Saratoga County and can be sorted by victim, offender, charged, uncharged and jurisdiction. All prosecutors have access to the database.
  • Protocols and memorandums of understanding have been executed between all county agencies giving access to the DIR database. Department of Social Services (DSS) utilizes the database, charged and uncharged, when conducting investigations into child abuse and neglect, hotline reports, criminal investigations family offenses and related investigations.

For more information visit the Saratoga County District Attorney website.