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New York enacts tough new law against domestic violence

Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that increases the penalties for domestic abuse offenses. Repeated instances of domestic violence are no longer considered misdemeanors, but instead are felonies. Also, the new legislation requires that judges consider more risks that the defendant poses before setting bail. This fixes the problem of domestic assault perpetrators getting a low bail, which would allow them the chance to abuse the victim again before trial.

Another issue that is resolved with this legislation is the issue of the victim's remains. Under the new law, the court will take control of the battered woman's remains. This is in response to an abusive husband obtaining control over his wife's remains because he was the closest family member.

Other legal reforms include the creation of a class E aggravated family offense, which allows for a defendant previously convicted of a domestic assault offense to be prosecuted again if he or she commits another low-level offense within a time span of five years. The state will also create a domestic violence court for all parolees who were convicted of the offense. In addition, the legislation gives police a new tool to combat domestic violence. All police departments in the state will be given access to internet-based training on issues relating to domestic violence.

Domestic violence is an insidious problem in American society. It consists of acts of aggression and cruelty within the context of an intimate relationship between two people. The attacks can be either physical or psychological, and they are deployed for the purpose of maintaining control over the victim. Unfortunately, this crime often goes unreported.

Any victim of domestic violence is entitled to a just and fair result. A battered woman may obtain a temporary restraining order against her attacker in order to protect herself and any children she has. She also has the right to file criminal charges against the abuser and obtain a judgment against him. A woman abused by a significant other has the legal right to fight back.

Source: Thestylus.net, "New York fights domestic violence," Carolyn McMenemon, Nov. 6, 2012

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