Includes aggravated harassment, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, stalking, criminal mischief, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, and strangulation within the criminal offenses which may constitute domestic violence for the purposes of domestic violence prevention; and includes unrelated persons in an "intimate relationship" within the definition of "family or household members" for purposes of domestic violence prevention.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to the definitions of "victim of domestic violence" and "family and household members" for the purposes of domestic violence prevention
PURPOSE OF BILL: Section 1 amends section 459-a of the Social Services Law (SSL), to include in the definition of victim of domestic violence acts of sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, stalking, criminal mischief, strangulation and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. It also makes conforming changes by updating this section of the SSL to include unrelated persons in intimate relationships in the definition of family or household members.
Section 2 provides for an immediate effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: When the legislature expanded the definition of family or household member in Ch. 326 of 2008, it did not make conforming changes to section 459-a of the Social Services Law, which provides definitions that control the qualifications for domestic violence services. The definition of family or household members in the Social Services Law should be updated to include intimate relationships similar to Article 8 of the Family Court Act and the Criminal Procedure Law.
In addition, the Social Services Law should be updated to include as domestic violence conduct that which constitutes a family offense in Section 812 of the Family Court Act.
This measure is important to ensure that victims of domestic violence are not arbitrarily precluded from services based on incomplete definitions of family or household member and victim of domestic violence.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: Similar to S.7496
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4222 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 23, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. SALAND, HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the definitions of "victim of domestic violence" and "family and household members" for the purposes of domestic violence prevention THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 459-a of the social services law, as added by chapter 838 of the laws of 1987, are amended to read as follows: 1. "Victim of domestic violence" means any person over the age of sixteen, any married person or any parent accompanied by his or her minor child or children in situations in which such person or such person's child is a victim of an act which would constitute a violation of the penal law, including, but not limited to acts constituting disor- derly conduct, harassment, AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, FORCIBLE TOUCHING, SEXUAL ABUSE, STALKING, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, menacing, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, assault, attempted assault,
[or]attempted murder, CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION OF BREATHING OR BLOOD CIRCU- LATION, OR STRANGULATION; and (i) such act or acts have resulted in actual physical or emotional injury or have created a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to such person or such person's child; and (ii) such act or acts are or are alleged to have been committed by a family or household member. 2. "Family or household members" mean the following individuals: (a) persons related by consanguinity or affinity; (b) persons legally married to one another; (c) persons formerly married to one another regardless of whether they still reside in the same household;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03080-01-1 S. 4222 2
(d) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether such persons are married or have lived together at any time; (e) unrelated persons who are continually or at regular intervals living in the same household or who have in the past continually or at regular intervals lived in the same household;
[or](f) PERSONS WHO ARE NOT RELATED BY CONSANGUINITY OR AFFINITY AND WHO ARE OR HAVE BEEN IN AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH PERSONS HAVE LIVED TOGETHER AT ANY TIME. FACTORS THAT MAY BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHETHER A RELATIONSHIP IS AN "INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP" INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: THE NATURE OR TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE RELATIONSHIP IS SEXUAL IN NATURE; THE FREQUEN- CY OF INTERACTION BETWEEN THE PERSONS; AND THE DURATION OF THE RELATION- SHIP. NEITHER A CASUAL ACQUAINTANCE NOR ORDINARY FRATERNIZATION BETWEEN TWO INDIVIDUALS IN BUSINESS OR SOCIAL CONTEXTS SHALL BE DEEMED TO CONSTITUTE AN "INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP"; OR (G) any other category of individuals deemed to be a victim of domes- tic violence as defined by the [department]OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES in regulation. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.