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Albany, NY- The New York State Assembly has approved a package of legislation that would provide services and support to victims of crime.

"While we cannot prevent individuals from committing crimes, now more than ever, we are dedicated to ensuring that all those affected by crime have access to all the resources available to rebuild their lives," said Speaker Heastie. The motion offers access for victims’ families to programs provided Office of Victim Services (OVS). Another bill includes expanded eligibility of "child victims" for certain OVS awards.

Other measures include victims of unlawful surveillance offenses have the same access to reimbursement for certain crime-related expenses from OVS as those that suffer physical harm, establishing the right for a tenant to seek help without fear of losing housing under landlord action or local nuisance laws, a measure to define more broadly the state’s rape statutes and victims of sex trafficking not being required to provide samples for the state criminal DNA database if accused of crimes related to prostitution.

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