Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday signed three pieces of legislation expanding protections for victims of domestic violence. One of these measures broaden the definition of the crime of domestic violence to include forms of economic abuse such as identity theft, grand larceny and coercion (S.2625/ A.5608).
Economic abuse has a broad definition but in the new legislation it is limited to just three types (indicated below in bold) and is subject to the additional limitations in subparagraphs (i) and (ii). Thus, subdivision 1 of section 459-a of the social services law, as amended by chapter 11 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
“1. “Victim of domestic violence” means any person over the age of sixteen, any married person or any parent accompanied by his or her minor child or children in situations in which such person or such person’s child is a victim of an act which would constitute a violation of the penal law, including, but not limited to acts constituting disorderly conduct, harassment, aggravated harassment, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, stalking, criminal mischief, menacing, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, assault, attempted assault, attempted murder, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, [or] strangulation, IDENTITY THEFT, GRAND LARCENY OR COERCION; and
(i) such act or acts have resulted in actual physical or emotional injury or have created a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to such person or such person’s child; and
(ii) such act or acts are or are alleged to have been committed by a family or household member.”