Domestic Violence Unit & Task Force
District Attorney Murphy has been and continues to be an advocate for victims of domestic violence and abuse. He established a Domestic Violence Unit in the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office immediately upon first being elected. Attorneys within the office specialize in prosecuting domestic violence cases and working with victims of domestic violence. In addition, advocates within DA Murphy's office work with domestic violence victims through the Crime Victim Unit. Batterers are held responsible for their criminal conduct and victims feel and are safer because of the prosecution of these cases. No longer are these cases simply referred to family court, but instead are prosecuted in criminal court. DA Murphy is proud of the relationship he has forged with a number of different community based not for profits in Saratoga County which advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence.
The Domestic Violence Task Force
In addition to his prosecutorial role, DA Murphy established and chaired the first Domestic Violence Task Force in Saratoga County. The Task Force, now run by Saratoga County Legal Aid, meets monthly and represents more than 20 different government agencies including the
the District Attorney's Office, probation, police departments, not for profits, schools, advocacy groups, community organizations and faith based groups The Task Force has been instrumental in ensuring collaboration among the various members to more efficiently deliver prosecutorial resources to the residents of Saratoga County. In addition, DA Murphy and the Task Force have assisted in the drafting of legislation to toughen laws against domestic violence and stiffen the penalties for abusers and stalkers. His office assists in the revision of the "Domestic Incident Report", which memorializes abusive, harassing or other criminal behavior and creates a permanent record of an incident even if no arrest occurs.
The Saratoga County District Attorney institutionalized the Domestic Incident Report (DIR) process by indexing and cataloging DIRS historically back through and including 1997. This county-wide database receives DIR’s from the 14 law enforcement agencies in Saratoga County and can be sorted by victim, offender, charged, uncharged and jurisdiction. All prosecutors have access to the database. Protocols and memorandums of understanding have been executed between all county agencies giving access to the DIR database. Department of Social Services (DSS) utilizes the database, charged and uncharged, when conducting investigations into child abuse and neglect, hotline reports, criminal investigations family offenses and related investigations.
Domestic Violence Specialized Courts
DA Murphy works with local justices to establish Domestic Violence Courts in the City of Saratoga Springs, the City of Mechanicville and in the town of Clifton Park. Justices preside over these courts on certain days of the month and a domestic violence prosecutor is present in the courtroom to prosecute these cases. Often, victim advocates from the District Attorney's Office are present to facilitate the delivery of victims' services, explain how the case is progressing and to answer questions. In addition, the prosecutor and victim advocates refer victims to support and advocacy agencies to further assist victims of domestic violence with counseling, shelter and support.
One such agency in Saratoga County is:
Domestic Violence Services and Rape Crisis.
Domestic Violence Hotline: 584-8188
Rape Crisis Hotline: 587-2336
The Mission of Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County is to provide free,
confidential and comprehensive victim-assistance services to victims of
domestic violence and sexual assault throughout Saratoga County and
prevention education to local schools and community groups. Our mission
is to end domestic violence and sexual assault in Saratoga County.
Services are listed below. Our services are available to all victims of
domestic violence and sexual assault in Saratoga County. Our office
address is 480 Broadway, LL20, in Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866. Our
office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, (518) 583-0280.
Appointments may also be scheduled after hours, or at one of our
Outreach Sites throughout the county.
Hotline: Emergency crisis services, information, and counseling
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Shelter: A nine bed safe dwelling, providing shelter to female victims
of domestic violence and/or sexual violence and their children for stays
of up to 90 days.
Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Program: Provides for the collection
of forensic evidence by specially trained nurse examiners in conjunction
with Saratoga Hospital, for the purpose of aiding law enforcement and
the DA's office in successful prosecution. A rape crisis advocate is
available throughout the exam.
Individual Counseling: By appointment or on a walk-in basis. Counseling
on issues and dynamics of domestic violence, physical and emotional
reactions to sexual assault, safety plans, exploring options.
Information and Referral: Accessing community resources and services.
Advocacy Services: Assistance with legal matters (filing charges, orders
of protection, custody and child support petitions, accompaniment to
police department, family and criminal courts), medical and therapeutic
needs, education, employment, housing and children's services. Some
transportation assistance is available.
Legal Clinics: are offered bi-weekly and provide the opportunity for
people who cannot afford an attorney to obtain an initial consultation
with an attorney. Please contact 583-0280 to schedule an appointment.
Hope Support Group for Women: (Open Group) Weekly support group for
women in crisis and at the beginning of making changes.
Children's Services: Call for information on programs & services
specifically designed for children.
Safe Pet Partnership: Provides a network of kennels, vets, pet foster
homes, etc. for safe temporary placement of domestic violence victim's
Individual Case Management: Assistance in transitioning to safe and
secure living through regular meetings, focusing on developing goals and
working towards economic self-sufficiency.
Other Support and Educational Groups: Issue oriented groups on various
topics are offered according to client need and staff availability.
Call for more information.
Housing and Employment Counseling: Provided by our full time
Community and Professional Education Training: Programs in family
violence and sexual assault issues and prevention for schools, civic
organizations, church groups, service providers and professionals.
Specialized training is available for professional groups.
For more information contact:
480 Broadway LL20
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Office phone 518.583.0280
Domestic Violence 24-hour Hotline: 518-584-8118
Rape Crisis 24-hour Hotline: 518-587-2336