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The Victims Rights Notice

New York States Public Health Law 2803

The Victims Rights Notice was prepared to inform victims of domestic violence of their legal rights and remedies available under the law. If you are a victim of domestic violence you are encouraged to speak privately with a social worker or someone who can help you. You should be interviewed privately out of eyesight or earshot of anyone who accompanies you. Your rights as a patient will be violated if hospital staff asks if you are a victim of domestic violence in front of any accompanying partner or family member.


The police can help you:

  • Get to a safe place away from the violence.
  • Get information on how the court can help protect you against the violence.
  • Get medical care for injuries you or your children may have.
  • Get necessary belongings from your home for you and your children.
  • Get copies of police reports about the violence.
  • File a complaint in criminal court, and tell you where your local criminal and family courts are located.

The courts can help:

  • If the person who harmed or threatened you is a family member or someone youve had a child with, then you have the right to take your case to the criminal courts, family court or both.
  • If you and the abuser arent related, werent ever married or dont have a child in common, then your case can be heard only in criminal court.
  • The forms you need are available from the family court and the criminal court.
  • The courts can decide to provide a temporary order of protection for you, your children and any witnesses who may request one.
  • The family court may appoint a lawyer to help you in court if it is found that you cannot afford one.
  • The family court may order temporary child support and temporary custody of your children.

New York State Law states: If you are the victim of domestic violence, you may request that the officer assist in providing for your safety and that of your children, including providing information on how to obtain a temporary order of protection. You may also request that the officer assist you in obtaining your essential personal effects and locating and taking you, or assist in making arrangements to take you and your children to a safe place within such officers jurisdiction, including but not limited to a domestic violence program, a family members or a friends residence, or a similar place of safety. When the officers jurisdiction is more than a single county, you may ask the officer to take you or make arrangements to take you and your children to a place of safety in the county where the incident occurred. If you or your children are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that the officer assist you in obtaining such medical treatment. You may request a copy of any incident reports at no cost from the law enforcement agency.

You have the right to seek legal counsel of your own choosing and if you proceed in family court and if it is determined that you cannot afford an attorney, one must be appointed to represent you without cost to you. You may ask the district attorney or a law enforcement officer to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to file a petition in the family court when a family offense has been committed against you. You have the right to have your petition and request for an order of protection filed on the same day you appear in court, and such request must be heard that same day or the next day court is in session. Either court may issue an order of protection from conduct constituting a family offense which would include, among other provisions, an order for the respondent or defendant to stay away from you and your children. The family court may also order the payment of temporary child support and award temporary custody of your children. If the family court is not in session you may seek immediate assistance from the criminal court in obtaining an order of protection. The forms you need to obtain an order of protection are available from the family court and the local criminal court. Calling the following 800 numbers can access the resources available in this community for information relating to domestic violence, treatment of injuries, and places of safety and shelters. Filing a criminal complaint or a family court petition containing allegations that are knowingly false is a crime. [CPL 530.011(6)]

GET HELP NOW - New York State Hotlines:

24 Hour Adult Domestic Violence:  1-800-942-6909 (English) 1-800-942-6908 (Spanish)

National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse: 1-800-342-7472

Office of Children and Family Services:     1-800-342-3720 (To report child abuse)

Or call your local Domestic Violence Program
24-Hour NYC Domestic Violence:     1-800-621-HOPE