But the Assembly passed a bill just yesterday to crack down on domestic violence offenders.
Off the top tonight, Eyewitness News Reporter Rachel Polansky visited the scene of a domestic violence case. The bill will crack down on repeat offenders and enhance protections for victims. And some people are saying it came just at the right time. Over this past weekend, police say a Rome man tied up a woman, stuffed her into a duffel bag and raped her at least twice.
I visited the scene and spoke with neighbors and a former friend of the man accused of the crimes.
"He held her captive in his attic for a couple days, chained her to a chair, he beat her up, and stabbed her in the eye with a fork," says Cheyenne Johnson, a former friend of John Santoro.
Cheyenne is describing Santoro's treatment to a former girlfriend and she says this was not the first, or even the second time Santoro has hurt a woman.
"There's been 4, now this will be the 5th girl that he's had domestic violence with over the years. He's gonna end up murdering a female, like he has no discipline for what he does, he gets a year, boom, he's out and does it again," says Johnson.
Frightened neighbors say they're very happy to hear about the passing of this new bill.
"I really applaud Assemblyman Brindisi for making tougher laws on domestic violence because there needs to be a tougher law to show these people domestic violence isn't going to be taken anymore," says neighbor Paul Williams.
Under the new bill, harsher penalties can include up to 4 years in prison for repeat offenders, as opposed to the current maximum that is 1 year in a correctional facility. But one neighbor thinks even this isn't enough for repeat offenders.
"I feel that this dude should get more than 4 years, get him off the street because if he's been in prison 3 times. If they let him out again, who knows what he'll do next," says neighbor Robert Fazzone.
The new legislation will also allow repeat offenders with a history of domestic violence to be prosecuted as felons - some of these community members are glad to hear that news.
"Seeing he's done this to 5 girls and it seems to get worse, I really like the idea of this bill that he'll get locked up for some time now," says Johnson.
The Senate has passed the Domestic Violence Bill. Now, the bill must be signed by the Governor.