For Immediate Release - April 08, 2014

Speaker DeLeo Receives Victim Services "Legislator of the Year" Award at the State House

BOSTON – During Victim Rights Month in April, Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Victim Witness Assistance Board, and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) recognize individuals and organizations that have made advancements in victim rights and services. House Speaker Robert DeLeo was selected as this year’s “Legislator of the Year” award recipient for his efforts to enhance domestic violence laws and protections in the state.

In light of recent high profile domestic violence cases, Speaker DeLeo prioritized domestic violence law reform as a priority of his this legislative session.  The Speaker, in collaboration with AG Coakley, issued a legislative package that toughens domestic violence laws, enhances victim protections, and promotes community engagement to address domestic violence at the local level. The omnibus legislative package was informed by survivors, law enforcement officers, criminal justice personnel and victim service professionals from across the state to identify effective and sustainable solutions that can be applied statewide.  The Speaker has committed to working with Senate President Murray and Governor Patrick to ensure the enactment of these provisions before the end of the legislative session in August.  

In addition to his work on domestic violence laws, Speaker DeLeo has also ensured the enactment of other significant victim services and supports including the creation of the Harassment Prevention Order, bullying prevention laws, equal rights for transgendered individuals, and the state’s first anti-human trafficking law.  

“Throughout his long and dedicated career, I know firsthand how dedicated Speaker DeLeo is to serving the needs of others,” said AG Coakley. “Whether it’s his open support of the creation of a Harassment Prevention Order or most recently our joint legislative package that toughens the state’s domestic violence laws, Speaker DeLeo is a champion of victims’ rights and I’m honored to recognize his tremendous work with this award.”

“We are honored to recognize the many efforts of Speaker DeLeo, a long-time champion for stronger victim rights in Massachusetts, but particularly for his recent commitment to improving domestic violence laws in the state,” said Liam Lowney, MOVA’s Executive Director. “Domestic violence is not a new issue, but it is a complex issue. This package addresses some long standing issues to effectively hold offenders accountable and creates better protections for victims, but most importantly it recognizes the need for community involvement and collaboration to combat domestic violence.  We applaud the Speaker and AG Coakley for their efforts and look forward to seeing this legislation enacted.”
 
For further information on domestic violence services and protections available in Massachusetts, please visit MOVA’s website www.mass.gov/mova or call (617) 586-1340.