By SÃLE MOLONEY
October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DV). Between 2017 and 2018, intimate partner homicides in the Bronx increased 85.7%, from seven in 2017 to 13 in 2018, according to a 2019 report from the New York City DV Fatality Review Committee. Meanwhile, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2017 that one in four women and one in seven men will experience spousal violence or abuse in their lifetime.
On Friday, October 1, Governor Kathy Hochul announced $ 6.5 million in funding that will enable state-approved service providers to provide domestic violence survivors and their families with options for assistance and support, rather than relying on shelter-based services. Representatives from the governor’s office said the funding would also be used to improve DV prevention programs.
In the context of the funding announcement, Hochul said, âWe have come a long way since my mother advocated for survivors of domestic violence, but our mission to end the abuse and suffering that too many people have had to endure is far from above. âShe added, âOur systems must evolve and we must continue to provide innovative solutions to meet the needs of survivors and families, wherever they are.
The 52nd Bronx District which covers Bedford Park, Fordham, Kingsbridge, Norwood, Bronx Park and University Heights recorded 1,978 calls from VI victims who needed help during 2020. That was the same number in 2019. Manhattan’s 22nd District recorded 19 calls in 2020. The 52 also recorded one of the highest numbers in terms of DV offenders per district, at 1,094.
Recently, agents of the @ NYPD46Pct teamed up with the Bronx Warrant Squad to apprehend a wanted suspect for shooting a gun during a family dispute in July.
Not only did they find and arrest the suspect, they also safely recovered these two loaded guns he owned. pic.twitter.com/M5oQiLw2hb
– NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 29, 2021
In fact, across the city, collectively, the highest number of DV calls in 2020 were recorded in the Bronx with the 43rd constituency, which covers Westchester Avenue, Castle Hill Avenue, White Plains Road and Parkchester, recording the highest number of calls for an individual. pregnant, at 2,745.
It should be noted that representatives of non-profit organizations that work with survivors of domestic violence have long said that, just like victims of sexual violence, victims of domestic violence (who may too victims of sexual violence) do not always call the police for various reasons, including previous reports of some police officers who allegedly abused victims while in custody, as reported by Gothamist.
This despite the fact that the NYPD operates a DV unit in which officers are specifically trained in the management of DV cases. As reported by Norwood News Last year, retired NYPD chief Nilda Irizarry Hoffman said of the unit: “I think the NYPD has done some amazing things about it.”
Irizarry Hoffman added, âI have seen so much surveillance on this unit and constant checks to make sure all the regulations to be followed are being followed, and that is usually why these are the best agents assigned to domestic violence. I mean, besides, they do this job because they care about people. They want to keep people safe. I cannot say anything more about them and the work they are doing in these difficult times. “
In addition to the funding announced, Hochul also highlighted a new public awareness campaign âTechnological Safety and Innovation for Survivorsâ, which will be coordinated by the State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) and will highlight the role of technology in abuses.
Administered by the State Office of Children and Family Services, the governor’s $ 6.5 million will support two initiatives:
- $ 1.7 million to five nonprofit organizations that offer VI prevention programs. Each of these programs will receive $ 342,380: Retreat, Inc. in East Hampton, the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Unity House of Troy, Vera House in Syracuse, and Family Justice Center of Erie County.
Hochul also ordered that the following New York State landmarks be illuminated purple on October 1 to mark the start of VI Awareness Month.
- A global trade center
- Grand Central Terminal – Pershing Square Viaduct
- MTA LIRR – East End Gateway to Penn Station
- Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
- The Kosciuszko Bridge
- The Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge
- The H. Carl McCall SUNY building
- National Education building
- Alfred E. Smith State Office Building
- Albany International Airport Gateway
- Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex
- The main gate and exhibition center of the State Exhibition Center
- Niagara Falls
According to representatives of the governor’s office, OPDVS new social media campaign will also highlight the intersection of technology with DV and raise awareness of forms of abuse assisted by technology. While technology provides survivors with access to information, safety planning, and allows them to connect to their support systems, violent partners use it to cause further harm to their partners.
In addition to the campaign on Twitter (@NYSOPDV), Facebook (@NYSdomesticviolence) and Instagram (@nysopdv), the agency will sponsor a roundtable with representatives from Facebook, Apple, Norton LifeLock and academic experts to discuss emerging risks of technology-assisted abuse, as well as mobile advocacy and other innovations to help survivors.
Scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, the discussion, âBalancing Technological Innovation and Security in the Context of Gender-Based Violence,â is designed for service providers, advocates and victim support professionals. Later this month, OPDV will also release a new publication to help survivors and advocates understand technology-assisted abuse and provide concrete tools and steps to protect privacy and security in a digital world. The OPDV agency has also launched his new website.
Last year, Norwood News reports the expansion of some programs in the Bronx to help survivors of domestic violence. In the context of Harassment Awareness Month last January, we also reported on how technology is indeed sometimes used to track down victims of DV, as well as the resources available to help curb this threat. We also previously reported on the work of Norwood activist Heather Guerino in the fight against VI.
The Victim Services Office also funds a network of more than 212 community programs that provide direct services to victims of crime and their families. The programs also help any victim of crime to seek compensation and other assistance from the agency, serving as a safety net for those without other resources.
The news of the latest state funding has been warmly received by those working in the area of ââsupporting families and those affected by VI. Sheila J. Poole is the Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services and has stated that she The agency is proud to administer federal grant money to enable providers to fund the tangible needs of survivors of domestic violence, giving them the resources to secure safe housing. âWe know that providing families with support and resources is essential to preventing domestic violence in the first place,â said Poole.
Kelli Owens is the Executive Director of the Office for the Prevention of DV and said DV Awareness Month highlights a reality that victims and survivors endure throughout the year and lets them know that they are not alone. âNow, more than ever, technology is playing an important role in how victims and survivors experience abuse and how they access domestic violence services,â Owens said. âIn October, we are raising awareness of the importance of technology in transforming and updating the delivery of survivor services statewide. We are eternally grateful to the governor Hochul long-standing commitment and leadership on this important issue.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Cronin, director of the Office of Victim Services (OVS), said her team were very proud of the work they do at OVS to ensure that victims of crime receive the support they need as well as to ensure that survivors of family violence have the resources they have. need to find security and flourish. âI congratulate my colleagues at the state agency for their work and the government. Hochul for his strong leadership and advocacy on behalf of all victims and survivors of crime and their families, âsaid Cronin.
In February 2021, the New York Times reported on the arrest of Victor Rivera, the former president and founder of the Bronx Parent Housing Network, who allegedly engaged in a long model sexual abuse involving vulnerable people who accessed the non-profit shelter, including some victims of domestic violence.
A person arrested and charged with a crime is innocent until convicted by a court.
The New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is available 27/7: 800 942-6906 (call), 844-997-2121 (text) or @opdv.ny.gov (to discuss). Last year, national and local hotlines received 252,535 calls for help.
Safe Horizon (and other non-profit organizations) also operate 24-hour helplines (llÃ¡me para ayuda). Call 1-800-621-HOPE (4673). If you are in immediate danger, call 911.