Volume 26 | Issue 1 | January 2020
Happy New Year & Welcome to 2020!
As we enter a new year, New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence would like to thank all supporters, advocates, and donors. With your ongoing support, New York State is safer for survivors of intimate partner violence.

We are grateful for your partnership in helping to prevent and end domestic violence and we look forward to a peaceful 2020.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM)! It is an annual call to action to recognize and respond to the serious crime of stalking. Stalking is a prevalent crime that often co-occurs with domestic violence. Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes fear.

Stalking can be an extension of power and control in an abusive relationship, and many abusers stalk their partners both during and after the relationship has ended. Intimate partner stalkers are the most dangerous stalkers: they are more likely to approach victims, escalate behaviors, re-offend and assault their victims. Stalking is a terrifying and psychologically harmful crime in its own right as well as a predictor of lethality: in 85% of cases where an intimate partner attempted to murder his partner, stalking preceded the attack.

Though millions of men and women are stalked every year in the United States – with a frequent co-occurrence of domestic violence -- the crime of stalking is often misunderstood, minimized and/or ignored.

We all have a role to play in identifying stalking and supporting victims and survivors. Learn more about stalking and how you can help stop it!

*Resource SPARC

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness Month! Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Force, fraud, or coercion need not be present if the individual engaging in commercial sex is under 18 years of age. Human trafficking can be an extension of power and control in an abusive relationship, in which abusers will coerce their partners into sexual slavery. Millions of men and women are trafficked every year in the United States. We can all do our part in identifying human trafficking and supporting victims and survivors. Wear Blue on January 11th in Solidarity! Learn more about human trafficking and what you can do!

*Resource Humantraffickinghotline.org
*Image from U.S. Dept. of Defense

Federal Appropriations

President Trump signed two spending packages totaling $1.4 trillion on December 20. The bills included all 12 annual appropriations bills for the 2020 fiscal year that started Oct. 1. Here are some key points:
  • The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) funding was increased to its highest level ever - $175 million. In addition to a 10% set aside, tribes will receive an additional $7 million.
  • The funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was increased slightly over FY19. Some programs received small increases; others, including STOP, were level funded. 
  • For the 3rd year in a row, $50 million from the HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) program was secured for domestic violence specific housing.
  • $2.64 billion will be released from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund in FY20, a decrease from the $3.5 billion release in FY19. According to NNEDV, due to shrinking deposits into VOCA, VOCA State Victim Assistance Funds that are distributed to states will decrease by approx. $746 million. States have three years to spend VOCA funds, so it is unclear how this decrease will impact each State. NYSCADV will continue advocating with NNEDV and our other national partners to increase deposits into the VOCA fund.

FVPSA Reauthorization Bill Gaining Sponsors

More than 40 Congressional representatives have signed on to co-sponsor H.R. 5041, a bill to reauthorize and expand the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), including Reps. Katko, Suozzi, Clarke, and Jeffries. This important legislation, companion to bipartisan S. 2259 in the U.S. Senate, would increase survivors’ access to emergency shelter, crisis counseling, legal assistance, and other life-saving services. 

Dueling VAWA Reauthorization Bills Introduced in US Senate 

NNEDV is reviewing and analyzing two bills introduced in the US Senate to reauthorize VAWA. The first, S2843 and introduced by Senator Feinstein of CA, is a companion to HR 1585, a bipartisan bill that was approved in the House in April. The second reauthorization bill, S2920, was introduced by Senator Ernst of Iowa in late November. We will keep you apprised.

New York State 2020 Legislative Session

The Governor delivered his 2020 State of the State Address and subsequently circulated a companion 300-page Briefing Book. The Governor has proposed several DV-related initiatives.

Most notably, the Governor proposes creating a pilot program to test a new “comprehensive flexible funding model” for DV service providers that will support a continuum of services for DV survivors based on each survivor’s unique needs. The proposal, the Governor states, is based on the work of the DV Task Force, which found there’s a “critical need to create additional innovative options to better address immediate and long-term service and housing needs of survivors. New approaches must increase the capacity of domestic violence service providers to leverage housing resources, better tailor service needs to each individual survivor, and permit opportunities for them to safely remain in their existing housing and/or community.” The proposed model will also “enhance systemic responses that hold abusers accountable and decrease their levels of lethality.”

Other important provisions in the 2020 Briefing Book* include: 

Creation of DV Regional Councils that will coordinate with the existing NYS DV Advisory Council to further relationships built through the Task Force and enhance communication regarding the needs of survivors, DV programs and communities;
  • Allowing Family Courts to issue Orders of Protection without requiring a petitioner to allege and prove a family offense was committed;
  • A program to train professionals who work with at-risk youth and teens on teen dating abuse;
  • Several firearms provisions, including allowing police to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic dispute or from the home of an individual who becomes subject to an Order of Protection arising out of a domestic dispute (removing the requirement that the offender inflicted physical injury, used or threatened to use a deadly weapon or behaved in a manner constituting a violent felony);
  • Creation of a new DV misdemeanor crime, to ensure abusers lose access to firearms immediately upon conviction;
  • Closure of the rape intoxication loophole to protect victims of sexual offenses who could not consent to sexual activity due to voluntary intoxication;
  • A new charge of rape in the first degree (a Class B felony) for anyone who engages in sexual intercourse with an individual who they caused to become involuntarily intoxicated; and,
  • During a divorce proceeding, requiring courts to specifically consider the effects of DV on the future financial circumstances of each party.

We look forward to learning more about all of the Governor’s proposals and working with both the Governor and Legislature to implement those we support.

NYSCADV Annual Meeting, March 23, 2020, Albany NY

The NYSCADV annual meeting is designed to provide:
  • a forum for programs from across the state to network and get a state-wide perspective on domestic violence services
  • professional and organizational development opportunities for domestic violence advocates
  • an overview of NYSCADV's 2019 activities and plans for the upcoming year

Save the Dates

  • February 4, 2020: NYSCADV Budget Advocacy Day
  • May 12, 2020: NYSCADV Legislative Day of Action
Webinars, Events & Training