New NY law will keep domestic violence victims’ conversations confidential

When domestic violence victims go to advocates for help, those conversations will be confidential, according to a new law passed in New York.

News 12 Staff

Jul 24, 2021, 3:27 PM

Updated 995 days ago

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When domestic violence victims go to advocates for help, those conversations will be confidential, according to a new law passed in New York.
CarlLa Horton, the director of Hope's Door, says it's shocking this has not been a law in New York until now. The nonprofit based in Hawthorne helps domestic violence victims.
"If those conversations are subject to subpoena, if they're subject to discovery, then an abuser who could be stalking, harming, psychological terrorizing someone, could get that information,” she told News 12. “Those records might include a new cellphone number, so she's no longer subject to him texting her with threatening messages. It might be her new address."
The only exception is if the victim reveals potential of a crime or a harmful act, like child abuse.
She says the law was decades in the making – making those conversations in the same vein as doctor-patient confidentially. The length of time it took to become a law, she says, was frustrating.
"I would put it in the context of patriarchy, that this is just one more step forward in seeing women as fully human beings, as deserving of the law's protection," she says.
Horton hopes this law will encourage more victims to come forward and ask for help. Hope’s Door can be reached at 888-438-8700 or online


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