THE BRONX - The governor announced a potentially life-changing initiative for survivors of domestic violence Monday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that survivors will now be able to get insurance through the state's health exchange, New York State of Health, by signing up whenever they need it and won't need to wait until the standard enrollment period of Nov. 1 to Jan. 31.

Kim Kavern, the director of the Bronx Family Court Program, says that when it comes to the barriers survivors have to face leaving abusive relationships, people often think first of the physical abuse and staying safe.

"We don't often think about the financial implications and the needs for survivors to have health insurance for themselves and their kids," she says.

The commissioner of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence commented on the initiative, saying, "We applaud the news of expanding the health care benefits available to survivors of domestic violence across the state of New York."