Story By: Olivia Jaquith

ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) — The Empire State is re-imagining its approach to services for domestic violence survivors.

Governor Cuomo appointed Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa to the COVID-19 Domestic Violence Task Force, which Thursday released its initial recommendations for changes.

Cuomo has reportedly accepted those recommendations in full.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a drastic increase in the number of reported domestic violence cases in the state, leaving many survivors trapped at home with their abusers without access to help or resources,” the governor said. “New York has been working to modernize our systems and the way we deliver services to survivors, and the recommendations made by the task force will help address this alarming spike in domestic violence incidents while building our systems and processes back better than they were before.”

Among other things, this means the governor will be issuing an Executive Order to remove the requirement that domestic violence victims file a police report in order to access Victim of Crime Act funding.

The task force also recommends the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence launch a new prevention initiative, specifically directed at men, emphasizing the connection between domestic violence and harm to children.

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