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Freedom from Domestic Violence Recognized as a Human Right

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Freedom from Domestic Violence Recognized as a Human Right

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Legislature, by unanimous vote approved a resolution declaring freedom from Domestic Violence as a fundamental human right.  The measure notes, in part, the pervasive, long-lasting negative effects of domestic violence—transcending individuals of every gender, sexual orientation, race, age, nationality, religion, and economic status, and causing long-lasting effects on its survivors and on children who are exposed to domestic violence—and that Tompkins County law enforcement agencies report an average of 147 victims of domestic violence a year over the past three years.  The United Nations has recognized freedom from domestic violence as a human right that affects realization of many other rights and freedoms, and that governments have a responsibility to prevent and respond to such violence. 

Through its action, the Legislature joins leaders in the United States and world in recognizing domestic violence as a human right and expresses its intent to raise public awareness of and contribute to better public understanding of the issue in the community; calls upon state and local governments to continue to secure this human right on behalf of their citizens; recognizes that County departments and agencies already have protocols in place that acknowledge and address the multiple problems that arise from domestic violence and strongly supports the continuation of their efforts to eradicate domestic violence in our community; and indicates that the County shall consider participating, together with community partners in study of causes of local domestic violence incidents and of the gaps and barriers in the County’s social service delivery to survivors of domestic violence, with the goals of preventing domestic violence, strengthening the County’s response to domestic violence, and improving the provision of services to survivors.

Legislator Carol Chock said, “Domestic violence is a scourge on society” and the County should do anything it can do to address the problem.