State Senator James L. Seward today joined officials from the YWCA Cortland and the Aid to Victims of Violence program to announce a $15,000 state grant to help support key community services.
“Community programs, like the YWCA Cortland’s Aid to Victims of Violence, provide vital services for those in dire need who often have nowhere else to turn,” said Senator Seward. “We are fortunate to have local organizations available to help vulnerable individuals, and I am pleased to assist them in their efforts to make our communities safer. These agencies are lifelines and, in many cases, are all that stand between a domestic violence victim and further harm.”
A press release from his office stated that along with providing grant funds to assist local, non-profit violence intervention programs, Senator Seward is also a proponent of strong laws to help protect women, curb domestic violence, and assist victims.
This year, the state budget included several provisions to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Several bills were passed by both the senate and assembly and will be sent to the governor for final approval.
Senator Seward and the Senate Majority fought for several measure that were included in the state budget to create safer workplaces free of sexual harassment and abuse:
Prohibiting secret settlements unless the victim requests confidentiality; Prohibiting mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints; Protecting non-employees in the workplace; Creating a uniform sexual harassment policy and training for businesses as well as state and local governments; Requiring all state contractors to submit an affirmation that they have a sexual harassment policy and that they have trained all of their employees; and Protecting taxpayer funds from being used for individual sexual harassment judgments; Preventing “Sextortion;” helping survivors of rape and sexual assault. and creating a “Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights.”
Additionally, the senate approved several bills that the assembly failed to consider, including measures that would:
Prohibit sex offenders from driving for Uber and Lyft;
Prohibit sex offenders from working with children in child care, recreational, entertainment, and other similar settings;
Protect victims by ensuring that victim and witness statements made to authorities regarding sexual abuse remain private and are not subject to disclosure to the general public through the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL);
Create a registry of all individuals convicted of a violent felony, also known as Brittany’s Law.