Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly posted an old version of the domestic violence resolution. The final resolution included an amendment that changed the language in the fourth resolution from “shall consider undertaking” to “shall undertake.”

Ithaca, N.Y. — Earlier this month, Ithaca’s Common Council and Mayor Svante Myrick approved a resolution recognizing freedom from domestic violence as a “fundamental human right.”


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The new legislation doesn’t have much teeth — it primarily commits Ithaca to “continue to secure this human right on behalf of their citizens” and to study how to reduce local domestic violence.

Still, the resolution — which was backed by the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at the Cornell Law School — contained a number of facts showing the extent of domestic violence against women locally.

Here are some of them:

1 — In Tompkins County, law enforcement agencies reported an average of 147 victims of domestic violence a year between 2010 and 2013.

2 — In 2013, the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County answered 2,055 calls on its domestic violence and sexual assault hotline.

3 — The advocacy center served 212 new adult domestic violence clients in 2013.

4 — The advocacy center provided shelter for 37 adults and 25 children in connection with domestic violence.

5 — 72 individuals received orders of protection from the court with the help of the advocacy center in 2013.

What does the resolution commit Ithaca to do?

There are four bulleted points Ithaca is committed to do under the resolution.

They are, in wording taken directly from the document:

1. That the City of Ithaca joins world leaders and leaders in the United States in recognition of domestic violence as a human rights concern and declares that freedom from domestic violence is a fundamental human right;

2. That state and local governments should continue to secure this human right on behalf of their citizens;

3. That this resolution shall serve as a charge to all City of Ithaca departments and offices to incorporate these principles into their policies and practices and to ensure that those policies and practices are informed by domestic violence survivors’ voices and needs;

4. That the City of Ithaca shall undertake, together with community partners, a study of the causes of local domestic violence incidents and of the gaps and barriers in the City’s service delivery to survivors of domestic violence, with the goals of preventing domestic violence, strengthening the City’s response to domestic violence, and improving the provision of services to survivors; and

The resolution

Here’s the full text of the resolution:

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.