SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. Maria Gorete Crowe understands the dangers that nurses can face in the workplace, having been a registered nurse for the past 15 years and a near victim of an assault on the job.
Until recently, there have not been extra protections within the law for nurses to ensure their safety. Crowe has been active in trying to advocate for safety in the New York State Legislature.
Thanks to her lobbying efforts, it's now a felony to assault a nurse because of the "Violence Against Nurses Act."
"It's not part of your job to be hit or be abused physically or verbally," Crowe said.
Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray honored Crowe during Tuesday's meeting for her efforts to improve working conditions for nurses by presenting her with an official proclamation declaring Sept. 24, 2011 "Maria Gorete Crowe Day" in Sleepy Hollow.
"Thanks to your efforts, you and the other nurses throughout the state will be protected in a way that they never were before," Wray said.
Wray noted that Crowe took a horrible incident from her life and realized that "nurses are in that position all the time and that there's nothing that separates the way they are treated from other folks when they are in that position."
"It's something that's horrendous and awful, but it does happen," Wray said.
While the proclamation was issued in September, Crowe couldn't make it to the meeting because she was working with the New York State Nurses Association. Wray said it was his pleasure to present Crowe with the physical proclamation on Tuesday.
Crowe stressed that she didn't just lobby for her own safety.
"I did this for 34,000 nurses" in the state of New York, she said.
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