Monday, April 11, 2011

State Senate Passes Klein's Bill to Protect Domestic Violence Victims

Here is a bill that was unanimously approved by the NY State Senate. It seems like a simple common sense measure that will protect battered women.


State Senate Passes Klein's Bill to Protect Domestic Violence Victims

ALBANY, NY - Important legislation by Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), that would protect victims of domestic violence from their abusers was passed unanimously today by the State Senate.
The measure, (S.1031B), requires insurance companies to give domestic violence victims the option of registering an alternative address, phone number, or any other contact information needed to receive bills and claims.
“This closes a dangerous loophole that allows attackers to track down their victims through insurance claims and bills,” Senator Klein said. “In many cases, when a victim seeks medical attention, their insurance policy is under their abuser’s name. My legislation will ensure that details of a domestic violence victim's new life are not sent straight to their abuser's mailbox.”
"New York State domestic violence survivors will be safer thanks to changes in the insurance law made possible by State Senator Jeffrey Klein. This legislation recognizes that victims of domestic violence may have had to leave their homes and seek safety in confidential or temporary locations in order to be safe. Health insurance should not be denied to abuse victims because they do not have a permanent address. The legislation passed today helps ensure that abuse victims can still exercise their rights," said Carol Corden, Executive Director of New Destiny.
New Destiny Housing Corporation is a New York City not-for-profit established in 1994, to help low-income victims of domestic violence and others at risk of homelessness transition to stable, safe, and violence-free futures by providing housing and services.
“We are so pleased that this important legislation has been passed by the New York State Senate. Enabling victims of domestic violence to access their health insurance coverage and designate an alternate address without the fear that insurance claims and billing correspondence will be sent to the address of the policy holder who also may be the alleged abuser -- is significant and central to victim safety. We are pleased that Senator Klein understands the obstacles and challenges that these families face and this legislation will go a long way in protecting those rights,” said Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Esq., Executive Director of My Sisters’ Place.
My Sisters’ Place (MSP) strives to engage each member of society in their work to end domestic violence so that all relationships can embrace the principles of respect, equality, and peacefulness. Since 1978 MSP has advanced this mission in Westchester County and the surrounding region through advocacy, community education, and services to those harmed by domestic violence.
Senator Klein’s bill would prevent claims and bills from being mailed to an abuser's address and instead be mailed directly to the victim. The bill would allow victims to provide an address where they feel safe such as a family member or friend’s home, a post office box or shelter.
The bill is pending in the Assembly.

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