STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Staten Island lawmakers are supporting a new initiative that focuses on domestic violence offenders– not the victims.

“We have to deal with the batterer. We have to find a way to get them to change their behavior,” Senator Diane Savino told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond and 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

READ MORE: Consumer Alert: More Than 333,000 Pacifiers Recalled Due To Choking Hazard

Savino helped secure a $100,000 grant for the Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan.

“This batterers program will address the anger and violence of the offenders act, identify the causes, clinically work to prevent further abuse,” Donovan said.

Donovan said counseling would be mandatory for those with an assault conviction.

“If we can better understand the batterer’s behavior, we can work to change it and subsequently stop further abuse in the cycle of domestic violence,” he said.

READ MORE: Community Gathers In East Harlem To Remember Yao Pan Ma, Condemn Anti-Asian Hate

As Diamond reported, Donovan has made the issue of domestic violence a top priority of his administration after a 53 percent spike in domestic violence incidents from 2009-2012, triple the rate of other boroughs. As Jones reported, Donovan attributes that to better reporting.

The district attorney hopes the Ray Rice incident encourages more victims to come forward.

Donovan lists domestic violence arrests as second only to drug offenses in the borough.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

MORE NEWS: FTA Upgrades Gateway Tunnel Project Rating For Federal Grants

[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]