|Contact:||Sunny Mindel / Michael Anton (212) 788-2958|
Remarks By Mayor Giuliani at Public Hearing on Local Laws
The final bill before me today is Introductory Number 752-A, sponsored by Speaker Vallone. The bill, known as the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act, would grant victims of violent crimes motivated by gender an enhanced civil cause of action against their attackers.
This legislation is an important first step in the fight to provide victims of violent crimes with enhanced legal remedies against their assailants. The bill will allow people victimized because of their gender to sue their attackers not only for compensatory and punitive damages, as State common law now allows, but also for attorneys' fees and injunctive relief, such as restraining orders.
By allowing victims to recover monetary damages and to obtain injunctive relief in one court action, this legislation would eliminate the need for victims to initiate several different legal actions in different courts. Importantly, because the legislation allows victims to recover attorneys' fees, it would shift the cost burden from victim to attacker, making it far easier for low-income victims to seek justice in the civil courts.
While I am pleased to sign this legislation, I believe its benefits should be extended to cover all victims of violent crime. Every citizen whose life is damaged by a violent criminal act should have an enhanced cause of action against the criminal. At this afternoon's meeting of the City Council, I will be submitting legislation extending the enhanced civil cause of action, created under this bill, to all victims of violent crime. I believe the bill has Speaker Vallone's support, and I urge him to pass it swiftly.
For the reasons previously stated, I will now sign the bill.
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