FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2008
STATEMENT BY MAYOR BLOOMBERG, SPEAKER QUINN AND COUNCIL MEMBERS VALLONE AND COMRIE ON PASSAGE OF STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY BILL TO EXPAND ACCESS TO FAMILY COURT
In Brooklyn Courtroom in March, Bloomberg and Quinn Called on Albany to Expand Access to Family Court
"Domestic violence is a tragedy that sadly affects far too many New Yorkers," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "Today's decision to expand access to Family Court to those in intimate relationships remedies a longstanding gap that limited domestic violence orders of protection to specific types of relationships. This legislation is the culmination of months of discussions with our partners in State government dating back to March, when Speaker Quinn and I called on Albany to expand access to Family Court. Working together, we have come up with a workable solution that will ensure that all victims of domestic violence are treated equally and afforded the same protections. I particularly want to thank the sponsors, Assemblywoman Weinstein and Senator Winner, whose leadership and years of advocacy have made this bill possible."
"Thanks to the State action taken today, victims of domestic violence are now empowered with a scope of legal protection that is broader than ever before," said Speaker Quinn. "Together, the City and State have sent a clear message that we will not stand idly by when people are victimized by those they live with and trust. I commend our leaders in Albany for taking this important step in combating domestic violence on every front possible."
"Everyone, no matter what their relationship, has a right to be kept safe," said Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr., Chair of the Public Safety Committee. "As a former prosecutor, I can attest to the fact that there are many people in need of family court protection who are not able to get it. This bill will provide that protection."
"I want to applaud my colleagues in state government for their passage of this bill," said Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie. "Domestic violence is pervasive throughout our City and my home borough of Queens is no different. There are over 2,000 requests for civil orders of protection in Queens annually. However, there are many victims who are not related to or married to their abuser and are left without the legal grounds to seek civil orders of protection. This legislation will provide such protection to those individuals."
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958
Jaime McShane (Council) (212) 788-7116