ALBANY – Reported domestic violence cases skyrocketed by 12.3% in the city last year, with Brooklyn


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ALBANY – Reported domestic violence cases skyrocketed by 12.3% in the city last year, with Brooklyn checking in as the worst borough, the Daily News has learned.

Total cases reported by “intimate partners” as well as other family victims last year in the five boroughs totaled 28,938, up from 25,761 in 2009, state Division of Criminal Justice Services statistics show.

Attacks against wives, girlfriends or ex-partners rose even higher – 17.3%.

The state reported 2,925 cases against boyfriends or husbands, an increase of 5.4% over 2009.

Brooklyn had the most domestic violence cases, with 9,530 last year, up 9.8% from 2009, the stats show.

Law enforcement officials said a big reason for the increases citywide was a 2008 change in law redefining what an intimate partner is.

Before the change, couples living together were not counted under the domestic violence law. Domestic violence was considered only an attack on a current or past spouse, someone with a child in common or people related by blood or marriage.

The new law covers those in an “intimate relationship,” including teens; gays and lesbians, and heterosexuals who are just dating.

“If you beat up the girlfriend you were dating, it wouldn’t be [domestic violence under the old law],” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. “Now it is.”

Some advocates blame the recession, not just the change in the law, for the increase in domestic violence reports.

Nathaniel Fields, senior vice president of shelter and hotline programs for Safe Horizon, said more study is needed.

“We don’t know if it’s change of definition or have conditions changed that are causing a higher rate of intimate partner violence?” Fields said.

Experts agree the numbers could go up even more, because the state Legislature last year made it easier to bring criminal charges against those who choke a partner.

Even with the changes, Browne said, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly still “believes [domestic violence] is generally underreported, though [the reporting has] gotten much better.”

The state numbers show 76% of the domestic violence cases in the city last year were some type of assault or related offense.

The second-highest offense was when a person was nabbed for violating an order of protection. That happened 5,332 times, which represented 18.4% of the overall domestic violence cases.

Sex offense charges made up just 5.4% of reported domestic violence cases last year.

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Posted on September 29, 2013, in FACE MY ABUSE, NEWS UPDATES and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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