image of graphic of a person holding a hand up and text regarding domestive violenceDomestic violence and intimate partner violence are when a person in a relationship or living in the same household uses tactics such as physical violence, sexual assault, economic and emotional abuse, or psychological abuse to exert power over the other person or persons they want to control. This kind of abuse, like any abuse, is against the law. Domestic violence can take the form of one single act or a series of acts and it affects people of all ethnicities, races and genders. Advocates, law enforcement and prosecutors work together to seek justice for victims of abuse. October is a month set aside to raise awareness of how this violence affects individuals and whole communities; calls on citizens to be aware of how social services and the law can help stem abuse, and lets victims know how and where they can get help.

Abuse is a choice. It’s not about an abuser losing control. Domestic violence is about an abuser doing whatever it takes to maintain power and control. Many victims of domestic violence are reluctant to come forward, but in Westchester, victims of domestic violencereceive an enormous amount of support from law enforcement and community agencies when they report being abused. In Westchester, victims are never judged by their economic or immigration status.

The Domestic Violence Bureau of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Division handles the thousands of domestic violence cases committed in Westchester each year. Specially trained prosecutors work with a team of domestic violence aides, many of whom are bilingual, to investigate and prosecute cases in every City, Town and Village court and Superior Court in the County, and help victims navigate the criminal justice system. Prosecutors in the Bureau are on call around-the-clock to assist police officers throughout the county on special issues related to domestic violence cases such as mandatory arrest provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law, responding to lethality assessment issues, and issues related to orders of protection and criminal contempt charges, and they work each day in Westchester Courts aggressively prosecuting those who commit domestic violence. 

Victims are supported every step of the way by prosecutors whose passion is to keep them safe and get justice for them no matter their needs. The Special Prosecutions Division is led by Second Deputy District Attorney Fredric I. Green, a prosecutor with decades of experience in the prosecution of special victims cases. The focus of the Special Prosecutions Division is to protect the most vulnerable in society from domestic abuse in all its forms including intimate partner abuse and teen dating abuse. Domestic violence often is the most common form of elder abuse and Westchester prosecutors battle domestic violence committed against the elderly as well. 

Our prosecutors are proactive in their advocacy for victims of interpersonal violence as evidenced by their constant interaction with students throughout Westchester on what healthy dating relationships should look like. Moreover, prosecutors collaborate with many agencies in the County to battle domestic violence through our participation in the Westchester Domestic Violence& Council and the network of committed professionals who fight domestic violence every day in partnership with our office. The DA’s Office has a leadership role in one of Westchester's newest initiatives to combat domestic violence-the "Northern Westchester Risk Reduction Team", a network of professionals collaborating to reduce the risk of lethality in domestic violence cases originating from the communities in the northeast section of Westchester-Pound Ridge, Bedford, Lewisboro, North Salem and Somers.

Recently, the "New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs" honored four New Yorkers for their service to people with special needs by awarding the "Justice Center Champion Award". Among the recipients for 2018 was Special Prosecutions Division Chief Green. The Justice Center noted: “Green has been a tireless advocate for coordination between the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the Justice Center. Green has been a dedicated public servant for more than 30 years, focusing on helping victims of abuse.”

Executive Director Denise M. Miranda added, “Mr. Green’s career as an advocate for victims of abuse makes him uniquely qualified to understand the complexities of the cases handled by the Justice Center. His work with both his staff and stakeholders across Westchester County ensures cases are thoroughly investigated and bad actors are held accountable at all levels.”

Under the leadership of Chief Green, the Domestic Violence team is made up of men and women equally passionate about their work-getting justice for those who need it most. Meet Deputy Bureau Chief of the Domestic Violence/Child Abuse Bureaus Joyce Miller. She tells her story of “Why I Became a Prosecutor” in this video describing her passion for her work with victims of domestic violence.

If you have suffered domestic violence, call the Domestic Violence Bureau at the DA's Office at 914-995-3000. Remember, in an emergency, you should always call 911!