MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s a controversial idea from some local lawmakers — registering domestic violence offenders, just like those convicted of sex crimes, on a state-wide database.
Their names, addresses and photos would be made public.
But would that put victims in greater danger?
“My ex-husband, he would go into rage. He put a knife to my throat. He spit on me, choked me, many times in front of my daughter,” one victim told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Monday.
Police said they arrested that woman’s partner for domestic violence and weapons possession.
But she said while he was out on bail his goal was to continue dating.
“Currently my ex-husband is online, on every single dating site. Women are looking at his profile,” the woman said.
As easily as one finds an online date, there could be a way to find out if that prospective mate has a violent history. Three New York State lawmakers now want to create an online registry of domestic violence offenders – an idea originally proposed by Suffolk County legislator Duwayne Gregory.
“They’ll be ‘outed,’ and the community and the world will know this is the kind of thing they do behind closed doors,” said Gregory, a Democrat representing Amityville.
Wendy Linsalata of the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence said the idea is will intentioned, but has a host of potential problems.
“It’s absolutely well intended. I think we can hold them accountable, though, without listing them on a registry and compromising the entire family,” Linsalata said.
Revealing victims’ identities is in violation of confidentiality laws and could trigger the loss of U.S. dollars.
“That locale could lose all the federal funding and we can’t provide services without it,” said the Coalition’s Jo Anne Sanders.
Some experts said though they like the shame factor of the legislation, they worry it would cause more pain and suffering for the victims.
The debate over a state domestic violence registry is just beginning in Albany.
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