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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined as a pattern of coercive tactics and abusive behaviors perpetrated by one partner against a current or former intimate partner with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control. Domestic violence has many forms some of which may include: physical abuse (e.g. strangulation, hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional or psychological abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic abuse.

Abuse can occur without regard to the parties’ sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, race, age, socio-economic status, disability, education level, culture or religion.

Generally, this section provides users with various domestic violence-related articles, policy and advocacy documents, legislative summaries and updates, training and Domestic Violence Task Force Meeting announcements, impact litigation highlights, program updates, and other resources. We also maintain sub-sections addressing other critical cross-over legal issues impacting domestic violence victims including: housing, public benefits, immigration, rights of the Deaf and disabled communities, as well as the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities.

*If you are a victim in need of immediate assistance, please call:

NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (English): 1-800-942-6906; NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (TTY English): 1-800-818-0656

NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (Spanish): 1-800-942-6908; NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (TTY Spanish): 1-800-780-7660



LGBTQ Inclusion in Domestic Violence Programs
This training provides an overview of intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ community and how barriers further impact safety. It also outlines legal and ethical bases for inclusive practices in non-residential domestic violence programs. Read More

Nuisance Ordinances & Domestic Violence: Resources
Information on local nuisance ordinances and how they affect victims of domestic violence. Read More


NYS Office of Victim Services creates unique Crime Victims’ Legal Network
Online tool will allow crime victims to determine the type of help they need in civil legal matters. Read More

City to fix law that snared victims
Nearly three years after Javonnta Simmons sued the city, demanding that officials change a law that unwittingly punished abuse victims, the city is fixing the law — while continuing to fight Simmons in court. Read More


Empire Justice Letter of Support for Name Change Legislation
A.2242 (Bronson)/S.5240 (Savino) not only is in line with existing policy, but enhances and clarifies the law for name change applicants who need the benefit of the law’s critical safety protections. Read More

Joint Letter of Support: Pass Legislation to Protect Crime and Domestic Violence Victims!
In New York State, and nationwide, no victim of domestic violence or other person threatened with a crime should be afraid to access police or emergency assistance because doing so may jeopardize their housing. Read More



Policy Matters October 2015: The Only Constant is Change
October 2015 edition of Policy Matters. Read More





What Every Civil Legal Services Provider Should Know About Stalking: Investigation, Prosecution and Working with Victims
Originally presented as a training for law enforcement officers, this program contains valuable information for civil legal services practitioners. Presentations by police, prosecutor, and mental health officials discuss the important and intertwined issues of enforcement of stalking laws and treating the complainant-victims with respect and avoiding re-victimizing those seeking recourse from the judicial system. A civil legal services attorney presents topics of interest including the crime of stalking, alternate Family Court venues for qualifying victims, and what civil legal providers can do for complainant-victims in the criminal venue. The victim perspective is represented as well with a presentation by a victim of stalking who speaks about the decision making process related to whether to report the crime and how stalking continues to effect her day-to-day decisions. Read More

Working With LGBT(Q) Clients
This presenters discusses the research documenting the intersection of poverty and economic injustice in these communities. They will further address the emerging needs of LGBTQ-identified youth, including youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Participants will also learn about ways that civil legal services office can create an inclusive, safe, and comfortable atmosphere both for clients, as well as LGBTQ staff. Read More