July 9, 2015
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Rosemonde Pierre-Louis today announced the appointment of four new members to the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee – domestic violence survivors Hana Schlanger and Seven Brown, and anti-violence advocacy leaders Sharon Stapel and Karina Aybar-Jacobs.
As members of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, these appointees will be charged with examining information on domestic violence fatalities that occur in New York City and formulating recommendations to improve services and reduce domestic violence deaths. The four appointees will each serve two-year terms. The Committee was formed in 2005 and is comprised of 15 members who meet with the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence four times annually. The Committee will hold its first meeting with the new appointees today.
“It is our responsibility to combat domestic violence in this city head-on, and the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee is a key tool in that effort,” said Mayor de Blasio. “With the addition of these new members, each of whom demonstrates a vehement commitment to helping those impacted by intimate partner violence and abuse in the home, we will improve City policies and services to move one step closer to eradicating domestic violence.”
“Since 2005, the Fatality Review Committee has played a vital role in OCDV’s efforts to reduce the number of domestic violence-related deaths in New York City. Through concerted steps to improve practices across agencies, such as training that enhances the capacity of staff to identify signs of domestic violence, the City is better able to link victims to services through early interventions. The appointees of this Committee, all of whom have shown a strong commitment to eliminating domestic violence, will be instrumental to this effort,” said Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
Karina Aybar-Jacobs currently serves as the Program Director for Nuevo Amanecer, an award-winning anti-domestic violence program coordinated by the Dominican Women’s Development Center. Aybar-Jacobs has worked with the Center for a decade, serving as a hotline and outreach counselor and program supervisor. She is also an organizer for the International Day of No Violence Against Women Conference, as well as Brides March Against Domestic Violence. Aybar-Jacobs is a graduate of Hunter College, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies. She completed her Master’s degree in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work. Aybar-Jacobs is originally from the Dominican Republic and is now a resident of the Bronx.
Seven Brown is a nationally recognized beauty expert, esthetician and owner of the Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic. A survivor of domestic violence, Brown has become a vocal advocate for victims of domestic violence and a volunteer with many local advocacy organizations. A native of Brooklyn and currently a Harlem resident, Brown is a blogger for Hello Beautiful, a community website for women of color, and a founding member and officer of the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance. In addition, Brown is a member of several professional organizations, including the Magazine Publishers of America, Associated Skin Care Professionals, and Cosmetic Executive Women.
Hana Schlanger, a Brooklyn native, is a domestic violence survivor who received services from the Brooklyn Family Justice Center. Hailing from Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, she currently works as a hair and wig stylist in Brooklyn. Prior to her work there, Schlanger worked at Hebrew Day Pre-School.
Sharon Stapel is currently the Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, an advocacy organization that empowers LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy. Stapel also sits on the LGBT Advisory Committee to the New York Police Department and the NYC Family Court LGBT Advisory Committee. Prior to her work with the New York City Anti-Violence Project, Stapel directed the Family/Domestic Violence Unit with South Brooklyn Legal Services and created the Legal Aid Society’s first dedicated domestic violence unit. Stapel received a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and a J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.
About the NYC Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence and the Family Justice Centers
The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV), established in 2001, oversees the citywide delivery of domestic violence services, creates innovative policies, develops crisis intervention- and prevention-based programs, and works to increase awareness through broad and diverse outreach efforts throughout New York City. OCDV operates four Family Justice Centers (FJCs) in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, with a fifth Center opening in Staten Island in 2015. The FJCs offer comprehensive wraparound services for victims of intimate partner violence, sex trafficking and elder abuse, including case management, civil legal and supportive services, as well as access to the District Attorney’s Offices and the NYPD. The FJCs are walk-in centers that provide free and confidential services regardless of the client’s language, immigration status, income, gender identity or sexual orientation. The services are available to all victims who can walk in Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM. Clients can also be assisted during non-business hours by calling 311 for the 24/7 DV hotline and 911 for emergencies.