ALBANY – According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, only about 48 percent of all violent victimizations are reported to police.
On Wednesday, the state Senate passed legislation authored by Senator Cathy Young (R,C,I- Olean) that will provide stronger protections for victims of domestic violence in order to encourage them to report their abuse to the authorities.
The legislation passed by the Senate will add domestic violence victims to the list of “vulnerable persons” who are allowed to testify in a criminal proceeding via closed-circuit television. Current law only allows children deemed “vulnerable” by a judge to testify via closed-circuit television.
According to Seantor Young, every nine seconds a woman in the United States is assaulted or beaten and according to studies 84 percent of women visiting hospital emergency rooms for domestic violence were injured by their intimate partners.
She said that Allowing a woman who has been victimized to be designated as a ‘vulnerable witness,’ thus providing for her testimony to be given via closed-circuit television, will encourage these women to come forward and confront their abuser.