New York City is steps away from signing a bill into law that would advocate for the rights of domestic and sexual abuse survivors.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pass Introduction 1313-2016, which requires employers in the city to provide paid leave for survivors of "family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking, and their family members." Int 1313-2016 is an amendment to existing city code, the Earned Sick Time Act, to be expanded into the Earned Sick and Safe Time Act.
If New York City's Mayor, Bill de Blasio, signs it into law, the act would allow employees paid "safe time" in instances of abuse to grant them the freedom to seek help from rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and other services without the worry that they could lose their jobs or go without a paycheck.
“Often times, women would miss appointments with either a DA, or miss appointments at the police precinct, or, unfortunately in cases, had to go and serve orders of protection, they had to go themselves and weren’t able to do that because they weren’t able to take the time off work," Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, said at a press conference according to Jezebel.
Mayor de Blasio hasn't yet indicated whether he will sign the bill, but he and First Lady Chirlane McCray have a strong history supporting domestic violence survivors in New York, and he was in support of the amendment when it was introduced last year, Jezebel reports.
The de Blasio administration released a domestic violence task force report earlier this year, committing $7 million to better apprehend abusers and support survivors.
"Domestic violence is disturbingly common, and affects every neighborhood in New York City. It’s only by confronting this crime that we will end the vicious cycle that perpetuates it," de Blasio said when the report was released. "We will not tolerate domestic violence, survivors have the City’s full support, and abusers must be held accountable."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.
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