New York, NY - October 2, 2015 - Marking this month’s 28th annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued “Victims of Domestic Violence: Know Your Rights!” brochure. The guide is intended to raise awareness among victims and survivors of domestic violence about the laws that protect them. The Attorney General also made the following statement:
“Protecting New Yorkers from domestic violence – and the housing and job discrimination that victims often face in the wake of such abuse – is a key part to stopping the cycle of violence in our state and our nation. The “Know Your Rights” brochure we are issuing, during our nation’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, offers women and other victims of domestic violence information about the law, and their rights. This information cannot heal the scars of past abuse, but it can help victims escape the cycle of violence that often traps them. My office is committed to helping all New Yorkers find a safe haven – and I urge anyone who has questions to call their local police department or my office.”
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and children in the United States.
Attorney General Schneiderman’s user-friendly purple pamphlet, the awareness campaign’s theme color, highlights some of the legal protections and services available to victims of domestic violence -- particularly in the areas of housing and employment – under New York law and the 1994 federal Violence Against Women Act, a major milestone in our nation’s efforts to prevent violence against women and other victims of domestic violence. The brochure includes guidance such as:
- Under New York State’s Human Rights Law, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against someone because that person is a victim of domestic violence.
- It is illegal for a landlord to refuse the federally subsidized housing vouchers of domestic violence victims.
- Too often, victims of domestic violence must temporarily or permanently relocate in order to seek safety. There are laws to protect those who leave their home to escape violence.
In 1989, the U.S. Congress designated October as National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are illegal. If you need immediate help, please call 911 first.
The Attorney General’s Civil Rights and Labor Bureaus are committed to enforcing laws that prohibit gender discrimination and protect the rights of domestic violence victims in the housing and employment contexts. To file complaints of discrimination faced by domestic violence victims and survivors, contact the Attorney General’s Office at 212-416-8250 or email here.