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The direct impact on adult victims of abusers' perpetration of  coercion and violence-in emotional upheaval, injury, illness, and loss of life-is well-documented. Beyond that, perpetrators of domestic violence disrupt and break families apart, endanger children by compromising their physical and emotional well-being, and model abuse as a "norm" that may be repeated through generations.

While these costs of domestic violence on victims and other household members may be inestimable, the direct and indirect economic costs are not. Domestic violence imposes significant costs on the criminal justice system and courts, the health care system, mental health system, and child welfare system. Direct costs also include the resources expended through the necessary provision of public and private emergency shelter and support services. The indirect costs of domestic violence include poor work performance, lost workplace productivity, and an increase in the cost of health benefits. (10) Domestic violence is a problem that has a significant economic impact on communities and society at large.


Chapter 396 of the Laws of 1994, in amending §575 of the Executive Law, encourages New York's counties to assure "that best practices, policies, protocols, and procedures are used to address the issue of domestic violence, and to secure the safety of the victim," consistent with law and applicable regulations. In addition, §575 advances the additional goal of providing "consistency and coordination by and between county agencies and departments, including criminal justice agencies and the judiciary, and, as appropriate, by municipalities or other jurisdictions within the county and other governmental agencies and departments."

The scope of domestic violence compels more than government action alone; it requires the promotion of coordinated, public-private, and multi-disciplinary solutions. With this in mind, and understanding that counties are both administrative entities and geographical communities, each county should express its intention to meet that challenge, and recognize that in its roles as

a legislative entity;

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