Parker wants New York to do more for domestic violence victims

State senator pushing package of four bills

March 3, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Kevin Parker (at podium) with domestic violence prevention advocates, says his aim is to reduce the number of incidents in New York State. Photo courtesy of Parker’s office
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Domestic violence brings with it a heavy cost in the U.S., according to state Sen. Kevin Parker, who said the toll exceeds an astounding $5.8 billion a year. That total includes $4.1 billion for direct health care services for victims and nearly $1.8 billion in worker productivity losses, Parker said.

Parker is pushing New York state to step up its efforts to combat the horrific crime and help victims pick up their lives.

In an effort to reduce the number of domestic violence incidents in New York, Parker is proposing a package of four bills that he said would have a significant positive impact on the lives of those affected by the shocking crime taking place behind closed doors.

“The unfortunate truth is that New York state needs to do more to ensure protection for victims of domestic violence,” Parker (D-Flatbush-East Flatbush) said in a statement. “We need to pass the kind of legislation that gives greater support to domestic violence victims so they are able to maintain their jobs and stay in their homes. But at the same time, we need to work with survivors as well as current victims in identifying patterns with an aim at prevention and ultimately decreasing domestic violence cases in the long term.” 

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The package of bills Parker is pushing in Albany during the current legislative session includes a bill to allow victims to take an unpaid leave of absence of up to 20 days.

Another bill would create a commission to study the negative implications of dating violence toward women. The third bill seeks to prevent domestic violence incidents from escalating by keeping guns out of the hands of known perpetrators. Parker is also pushing a fourth bill that would allow a victim to remove a violent felony offender from the deed of a co-owned property.

The statistics surrounding domestic violence incidents in the U.S. are sobering, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds, the coalition found.

Several community organizations have endorsed Parker’s legislative push.

“Domestic violence increases in intensity as time goes on,” said Nicole Sharpe, the CEO and founder of the Heather Hurley Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. “People need to understand that murder is always a possible eventuality. I speak from experience as I was orphaned when my father killed my mother. There are many victims/survivors in all facets of society. Domestic violence is a not a personal issue but a societal problem that needs everyone’s attention.” 

The more New York state raises awareness “the more we will see substantial progress as we move toward eradicating domestic violence,” Sharpe said. 

Carine Jocelyn, CEO of Diaspora Community Services, a program that provides resources and support for victims, called Parker a longtime supporter of her organization. “We applaud his continued efforts to protect victims of domestic violence and help them to regain stability and rebuild their lives,” Jocelyn said.


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