Leading the Field
The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence is seen as a reliable resource for information on domestic violence. In 2012, OPDV was contacted by media for interviews, background, and opinions, frequently following major national or local news events. OPDV’s Executive Director, Acting Executive Director and senior staff were interviewed and quoted on television, radio, and in newspapers. An article about the Executive Director was published in the New York Law Journal.
OPDV officials provided guidance to government and advocacy groups throughout the United States. The Executive Director chaired the advisory board of a National Institutes of Justice (NIJ)-funded grant investigating whether orders of protection are effective safety tools for adolescents. Executive staff served on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, assembled by the US Attorney General and on the national steering committee of the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence. OPDV was represented as panelist, faculty and panel moderators at conferences, webinars, and legal symposia. Events included: the federal Office of Personnel Management’s session on domestic violence and the workplace to comply with President Obama’s directive regarding agency-specific policies addressing the issue; and trainings hosted by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and Futures without Violence, funded by the Federal Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.
Many initiatives took place during 2012. OPDV created an online domestic violence training program for law enforcement, accessible to police departments statewide through e-Justice. The agency also convened a roundtable called “Working with Individuals who Abuse Their Partners: Recommendations for Practice” in collaboration with the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, State University of New York at Albany and the Center for Court Innovation, featuring an introduction by the Acting Director of the US Office of Violence Against Women. Troy City Council adopted the Domestic Violence and the Workplace policy, making it the third municipality in the State to do so. The 22 members of the newly-formed Fatality Review Team were announced. OPDV and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) completed a home visiting program in 11 regions and issued an evaluation done by SUNY Albany Human Services Research Center; results will inform development of a Model Policy.
OPDV frequently provides support to other state agencies to assist them with development of new publications and projects. In 2012, OPDV worked with New York State Department of State on the Address Confidentiality Program, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services on Family Engagement strategies, the New York State Office of Victim Services on the “victim portal,” the New York State Department of Health on the federally-funded Healthy Families initiative, DCJS on promoting stakeholder use of the DIR Registry, and the New York State Department of Financial Services on insurance regulations related to portions of the omnibus bill. Staff also provided support regarding the DNA bill. OPDV staff are members of the New York State Injury Prevention Work Group, the Interagency Task Force on HIV/AIDS and the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking.
OPDV contracts with two law schools and other organizations to develop creative initiatives. In 2012, the SUNY Buffalo Law School began the Animal Shelter Options for Domestic Violence Victims which will address the barriers to leaving faced by victims of domestic violence who have animals. Albany Law School launched the Immigration Project, which will offer legal services to domestic violence victims with unclear or undocumented immigration status. OPDV and the City of Rome Police Department will be developing a Model Policy based on results of the Home Visitng Program conducted during 2012. A contract with Schenectady Police, Probation and YWCA to conduct a High Risk Team project is underway.
OPDV granted requests from other states to reproduce OPDV publications, gave permission for OPDV materials to be used in college textbooks, and provided assistance to undergraduate and graduate students from colleges, universities, and law schools.