For the fifth year, OPDV brings to you the Annual New York State Domestic Violence Report. It is our goal to publish a report that provides a place for you, the reader, to see the efforts being made around the State by OPDV and our many partners. We want this to also serve as recognition to our colleagues in state and local government, as well as local nonprofit agencies and individuals for their tireless work in improving the lives of survivors of domestic violence, their families and their communities. Without their commitment and dedication we would be unable to accomplish all that we have.
This report is a product of the New York State Domestic Violence Advisory Council (New York State DV Advisory Council). The Council includes representation from 14 State agencies, as well as 9 members appointed by the Governor, 6 upon recommendation of the legislature. The roles of the different types of members are complementary. State agency representatives address policies and protocols that have the potential to impact anyone that comes into contact with the states’ various systems and is affected by domestic violence. The appointed The appointed members range from concerned individuals to prosecutors, advocates, civil attorneys and others who work outside of the state system. Together, this group permits us to have a fully-informed conversation about the topics we address, ensuring that any proposed state policy changes are reviewed by those who work outside of our state system. All of our recommendations and changes are the richer for that collaboration.
This year New York State passed a comprehensive package of legislation geared to enhance safety, foster system accountability and improve the lives of victims and their families. In addition, under the leadership of the Advisory Council many state agencies have reviewed screening opportunities and made changes to existing screening tools and procedures which, in turn, improved identification and response to domestic violence. We launched an initiative to provide information to senior centers and increase awareness of domestic violence among our older citizens. With the merger and consolidation of state agencies, 42 executive agencies and authorities or corporations were required to comply with Executive Order 19 and develop domestic violence policies covering New York State employees. Finally, professional training continued to focus on skill development for personnel in child welfare, law enforcement, courts, schools and victim service programs, among others.
We at OPDV are proud of the outstanding work being done in New York to reduce the impact of domestic violence on individuals and communities, but we would not be able to do this without the continued support from public and private partners. The families whose lives are most affected by this terrible and often tragic problem bear witness to your work.