Assemblywoman Buttenschon Holds Press Conference to Discuss Domestic Violence Legislation

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) held a press conference at her district office on Friday regarding the domestic violence legislative package the Assembly passed this week. The package includes measures to provide more resources to survivors of domestic violence to help them regain their independence and hold their abusers accountable.

“It’s important to let victims of domestic violence know that we’ll be there for them if and when they decide to come forward and speak up,” Buttenschon said. “Far too many suffer in silence and feel trapped within the walls of their own homes. This legislation provides survivors with vital resources to help them feel safe enough to break free and pursue justice.”

In 2016, Oneida County had the highest number of reported cases of domestic violence in the state, with New York having the most reported cases in the country. In 2014, there were 71 cases reported per 10,000 residents in the county, compared to 44 reports statewide, excluding New York City.[1] In many domestic violence situations, the abuser isolates the victim from family, friends and other resources that would help them and may even control their finances, cellphone or mode of transportation.[2]

To help more victims get out of dangerous situations, the package includes several measures to help victims achieve independence and cut ties with their abuser, such as terminating telephone and cable contracts without cancellation penalties, making it simpler to terminate a lease without penalty and allowing victims to vote by special ballot by mail (A.5318, A.4267, A.219-A). The package also includes legislation to empower victims to seek justice and recover damages (A.5614, A.1945, A.7395, A.5608).

Buttenschon was joined at the press conference by Dianne Stancato, CEO of the YWCA Mohawk Valley, and the YWCA Mohawk Valley Board President C. Sonia Martinez. The YWCA Mohawk Valley is a New York State-certified provider of domestic and sexual violence crisis services and serves as a valuable resource to victims of domestic violence.

Also in attendance were Oneida County First Assistant District Attorney Michael A. Coluzza, Esq. and Chief Deputy Jonathan Owens from the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department. Their offices work diligently with victims and go to great lengths to investigate and prosecute the abusers, Buttenschon noted.

Chief Deputy Owens said, “The efforts of Assemblywomen Buttenschon and the YWCA are again major strides and speak volumes in recognizing & educating victims of domestic violence, with this; our partnerships, will allow us to continue to support the needs of those affected by domestic violence. The Sheriff’s Office has zero tolerance of any form of domestic violence, and will work tirelessly to address the needs of the victims, their families, and support groups.”


[2] Ibid.