DeStefano Joins Bipartisan Effort for Immediate Passage of ‘Melanie’s Law’ to Strengthen Domestic Violence Protections

Assemblyman Joe DeStefano (R,C-Medford) attended a press conference in the New York state Capitol today to support his colleagues’ bipartisan push to pass “Melanie’s Law” (A.6026/S.6288), allowing courts to issue orders of protection for immediate family members or household members of victims of domestic violence, regardless of age. The press conference was led by Assemblyman Anil Beephan (R,C-East Fishkill), Assemblyman Brian Cunningham (D-Brooklyn), Sen. Rob Rolison (39th District), Sen. Michelle Hinchey and Cheryl Chianese, Melanie’s mother, who joined together to call for the law’s immediate passage.

Melanie Chianese’s life was tragically taken by her mother’s ex-boyfriend while he was under supervised release pending sentencing after pleading guilty to a domestic violence felony. Melanie’s Law closes a loophole in anti-domestic violence legislation to include persons related “by consanguinity or affinity to parties who are or have been in, on the order of protection.”

“We continue to advocate for Melanie’s Law because it has not yet passed, a true disservice to those it could shield from harm. Essential to combating domestic violence, Melanie’s Law stands as a crucial measure. The tragic loss of Melanie Chianese, a young mother herself, at the hands of her mother’s ex-boyfriend, underscores the urgency. Her exclusion from her mother’s protection order solely based on her age of 29 highlights the flaw that could have been prevented with a more inclusive law. While we cannot bring back Melanie, we can honor her memory by safeguarding others. Domestic violence often extends beyond the immediate parties involved, impacting children, parents and even pets as abusers seek to instill fear into their victims. As state leaders, we have the power to put an end to this. I am once again proud to lend my support to Melanie’s Law alongside my colleagues. The time for delaying this crucial legislation is over—it must be enacted without further delay,” said DeStefano.