On Monday, Gov. Cuomo and the legislative leaders announced an agreement on a measure to enhance protections for domestic violence victims.
The agreed-to bill:
- creates new felony and misdemeanor designations for domestic abusers who commit repeated low-level offenses: “Aggravated Family Offense,” a class E felony, and a class A misdemeanor of “Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree,” committed when a defendant “with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm, causes physical injury to an individual or their family or household member”;
- allows judges to consider risk factors — including prior offenses and access to firearms — when setting bail or recognizance rules for an accused abuser;
- prevents a documented abuser from having control over the remains of their victim;
- tightens confidentiality rules for a victim who leaves their abuser, including making it easier for the victim to safely regain important documents without fear of disclosure;
- establishes a statewide domestic violence fatality review team