By Shayna Jacobs
DOWNTOWN — District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. says it's time to get tougher on domestic violence.
A proposed bill would raise penalties for repeat domestic abusers, even if they do not use a weapon or seriously injure their victim.
"While street crime is down, sadly, the incidents of domestic violence are not," Vance said at a press conference in front of 60 Centre Street on Friday.
"We know the domestic violence abusers are frequently repeat offenders who abuse their victims again and again," the DA said, adding that a number of these cases can "quickly turn deadly."
Vance and the other supporters hope the bill will reach the state Senate before the end of June. If it does not make it to a vote by then it will likely get discarded and buried by other matters.
The DA said 700 domestic violence complaints are made to the NYPD on a daily basis and 5,466 cases worked their way through Manhattan criminal courts in 2010.
Vance was joined by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Dan Squadron, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and other local advocates. Squadron, Rosenthal and Sen. Martin Golden are the sponsors of the legislation.
Quinn said the legislation would give prosecutors a necessary "tool in their toolbox" to aggressively charge repeat offenders who are repeatedly booked on charges they hurt children or their significant others.
Paul Schaberger, the father of the Brooklyn police officer who was killed this year while responding to a domestic violence call, said his family is "100 percent" behind this proposed legislation and that they hope it will help keep other officers out of danger in the future.
His son was pushed off the stoop of a brownstone to his death, pushed by a crazed man who had abused his girlfriend repeatedly.
Had that man been in jail at the time having been convicted of several misdemeanor assaults against the same womanm, "it wouldn't have happened" the officer's father said.
"I would still have a son. My wife would still have a son," he added.