ALBANY – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- 57th District) called on the state Assembly to pass Brittany’s Law, a bill she co-sponsors and passed for the sixth time Tuesday.
“It is unconscionable that the Assembly continues to block this public protection policy that would save lives. Every day, people are beaten and even killed by domestic violence abusers. If these victims had access to information through a violent offender registry, they could know people’s pasts before they establish relationships with individuals who are dangerous. The Assembly needs to act now,” Senator Young said.
The bill requires convicted domestic violence offenders to register with the state criminal justice division upon parole or release from incarceration, hospitalization or institutionalization.
This information would be disseminated to the public via a registry similar to the one for sexual offenders under Megan’s Law.
“So many times I’ve heard victims say that if they had only known about their abusers’ previous offenses, they never would have entered into those destructive relationships. The public should have the right to know,” Senator Young said.
The Senator said she has held the hands of far too many victims and their families over the years, but those experiences have motivated her to be an ardent advocate on domestic violence issues.
Senator Young has sponsored many laws on domestic violence prevention and justice, including a provision of the Women’s Equality Act. She also is a strong supporter of state funding for agencies that help domestic violence survivors.
Brittany’s Law is based on the brutal 2009 murder of 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua, and her mother, Helen Buchel, of Geneva, New York.
Helen had recently begun dating the killer, John Edward Brown. Unbeknownst to her, Brown recently had been released from prison for inflicting domestic violence on his infant child.
The Senate bill has been sent to the Assembly, where Senator Young hopes it finally will be passed, especially since it matches a version of the bill already sponsored by Majority Assemblymembers.
“They are running out of excuses. The need to act now,” she said.