Following the tragic deaths of four women and one police officer in Dutchess County, NY in 8 months, state officials and domestic violence organizations need to push harder than ever for change. While Dutchess County public officials and the Citizens Advisory Committee have been discussing possible solutions for nearly one year after the tragic death of Linda Riccardulli, little to no action has been taken in response to the murders we have witnessed in the county.
“Victims continue to fall through the cracks everywhere, but four deaths in Dutchess County in less than 8 months is hard to comprehend, especially with the tragically publicized death of Linda Riccardulli and the push for domestic violence legislation in the state known as Linda’s Law,” says Alexis A. Moore, founder of Caifornia-based Survivors In Action.
In 2010, Maria DiBari, survivor and volunteer advocate, proposed Linda’s Law as a solution for the rise in domestic violence murders in NY. The law proposes strengthening many of the penalties and deterrents that are currently in place but ineffective.
She has suggested reform in a number of areas relating to domestic violence, including:
• Threat assessment tools before offenders are released on bail
• Improved hospital screening methods for potential domestic violence victims
• Special courts dedicated to cases involving domestic violence
• Shelter follow-up for victims of domestic violence
“Until Dutchess County and others like them include survivors in the process, lives will continue to be lost,” said Randi Rosen, CEO of Women’s Legal Resource.