The borough of Staten Island is making plans to build a shelter for victims of domestic violence in response to the increasing occurrence of domestic assault arrests in the area. The shelter is being described as a “one-stop haven” where victims of domestic assault will meet with prosecutors and counselors to discuss their cases. Similar centers are already in operation in Brooklyn and Queens, with one in Manhattan also scheduled to open. The centers are operated by the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.

According to law enforcement, Staten Island has seen a 34 percent increase in domestic violence arrests over the past three years, and 22 percent of all arrests in the borough for 2012 were related to domestic assault. Also, two of the three murders that occurred in Staten Island in the past year were related to domestic violence.

The center is part of the efforts by the state to combat domestic violence. It is an attempt to reach out to the victims and provide them with the resources needed to move forward with their case and protect themselves and their loved ones from the alleged attacker. Because victims of domestic violence frequently don’t know where to turn to for help, centers such as this one provide a vital function in helping these victims get the help they need.

Victims of domestic violence have a few different means of protecting themselves from the alleged attacker. A battered spouse may file for a temporary restraining order to keep the attacker away from the victim and any children involved for their personal safety. This is in addition to the actual domestic violence charges themselves and the sentences of jail time for assault and/or battery.

Source: New York Law Journal, “Staten Island plans to open domestic violence center,” Andrew Keshner, July 3, 2013