The New York City Domestic Violence Task Force proposes new strategies to resolve the challenging and complex social problem of Domestic Violence through earlier identification, supportive intervention, and effective prevention.
Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the NYC Domestic Violence Task Force in November of 2016 to develop a comprehensive citywide strategy to reduce domestic violence through improved identification, early intervention, enhanced pathways to safety for survivors and swift, effective and lasting enforcement to hold abusers accountable. The Task Force is comprised of experts and leaders from a broad spectrum of city agencies and community-based organizations, professionals who assist victims and work with offenders, leaders in law enforcement and the criminal justice system, senior representatives from many City agencies, and individuals who have survived domestic violence. Their collective knowledge is critical to understanding domestic violence here in New York City - both the nature of the problem itself and the strengths and weaknesses of our current responses to it—and to identify critical needs and gaps in services.
Despite dramatic declines in overall violent crime in New York City over the last past thirty years, making New York City one of the safest big cities nationwide, domestic violence has remained relatively static. In 2007, 4.8% of all major crimes in the City were domestic violence related. By 2016 that number had reached 11.6%. Domestic violence now accounts for one in every five homicides - and two in every five reported assaults - citywide.
This is a troubling trend. Even more troubling is the larger universe of domestic abuse that goes unreported every year. A leading national study found that 5.4% of individuals over the age of 18 are the victims of rape, physical assault or stalking by an intimate partner annually. The Task Force was charged with developing durable solutions to ensure that all New Yorkers are safe from all forms of violence.
Co-chaired by First Lady Chirlane McCray and Police Commissioner James O'Neill, and operating with guidance from the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice and the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, it was established to reframe how New York City can respond to domestic violence. The Mayor praised it as "unique in its focus on bringing law enforcement and social services together to look with fresh eyes at how we can both hold abusers accountable and ensure that we are providing smart and effective pathways to safety for survivors."
Providing safe opportunities for victims to report abuse, as well as educating support networks on how to identify domestic violence, is critical for successful enforcement. The DVTF is investigating opportunities for efficient coordination between social services and law enforcement to support victims and survivors, and enhance abuser accountability.
If you need help, call 1-800-621-HOPE for the New York City Domestic Violence Hotline, or call 311 and ask for the Domestic Violence Hotline.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
The Hearing Impaired 24-Hour Hotline is TDD: 1-800-810-7444
You can also access information regarding domestic violence services by visiting www.nyc.gov/311. 311 is New York City's main source of government information and non-emergency services.