Barclay’s domestic violence ‘solutions’ don’t go far enough

In an op-ed in the Baldwinsville Messenger, I wrote about Assemblyman Barclay's response to domestic violence, and where I think they are lacking.

"A few weeks ago there was a column by State Assemblyman Barclay, “Time to change the laws to better protect victims of domestic violence,” in which Barclay voices his opinion that state laws against domestic violence need to be changed to better protect victims. While I agree wholeheartedly with the premise, I found the solutions presented by Barclay to be inadequate and do not go far enough to effect real and positive change in this area.

Barclay asserts in his article, and I believe as well, that children are often secondary victims of domestic abuse. Barclay proposes a felony charge be brought against anyone committing domestic abuse in front of a child. On its face I agree with this measure; however, it exposes a flaw in the system wherein the original violent act is not a felony, only the secondary act of allowing a minor to witness it makes it a felony. By not penalizing the original violence to the same or greater extent, it minimizes the primary victim, whom often times are women. We shouldn’t need a secondary reason to penalize abusers, the system needs to change."

Read the full letter.

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