New York Consolidated Laws, Social Services Law - SOS § 459-a. Definitions

As used in this article:  1. “Victim of domestic violence” means any person over the age of sixteen, any married person or any parent accompanied by his or her minor child or children in situations in which such person or such person's child is a victim of an act which would constitute a violation of the penal law, including, but not limited to acts constituting disorderly conduct, harassment, aggravated harassment, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, stalking, criminal mischief, menacing, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, assault, attempted assault, attempted murder, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, or strangulation;  and

(i) such act or acts have resulted in actual physical or emotional injury or have created a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to such person or such person's child;  and

(ii) such act or acts are or are alleged to have been committed by a family or household member.

2. “Family or household members” mean the following individuals:

(a) persons related by consanguinity or affinity;

(b) persons legally married to one another;

(c) persons formerly married to one another regardless of whether they still reside in the same household;

(d) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether such persons are married or have lived together at any time;

(e) unrelated persons who are continually or at regular intervals living in the same household or who have in the past continually or at regular intervals lived in the same household;  

(f) persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time.  Factors that may be considered in determining whether a relationship is an “intimate relationship” include, but are not limited to:  the nature or type of relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature;  the frequency of interaction between the persons;  and the duration of the relationship.  Neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute an “intimate relationship”;  or

(g) any other category of individuals deemed to be a victim of domestic violence as defined by the office of children and family services in regulation.

3. “Parent” means a natural or adoptive parent or any individual lawfully charged with a minor child's care or custody.

4. “Residential program for victims of domestic violence” means any residential care program certified by the department and operated by a not-for-profit organization in accordance with the regulations of the department for the purpose of providing emergency shelter, services and care to victims of domestic violence.  Residential programs for victims of domestic violence shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(a) “Domestic violence shelters”, which shall include any residential care facility organized for the exclusive purpose of providing emergency shelter, services and care to victims of domestic violence and their minor children, if any;

(b) “Domestic violence programs” which shall include any facility which otherwise meets or would meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this subdivision, except that victims of domestic violence and their minor children, if any, constitute at least seventy percent of the clientele of such program;  and

(c) “Safe home networks” which shall include any organized network of private homes offering emergency shelter and services to victims of domestic violence and their minor children, if any.  Such network shall be coordinated by a not-for-profit organization.

5. “Non-residential program for victims of domestic violence” means any program operated by a not-for-profit organization, for the purpose of providing non-residential services to victims of domestic violence, including, but not limited to, information and referral services, advocacy, counseling, and community education and outreach activities and providing or arranging for hotline services.  Victims of domestic violence and their children, if any, shall constitute at least seventy percent of the clientele of such programs.

6. Repealed.


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