October 15, 2014
De Blasio administration encourages New Yorkers to become UpStanders against domestic violence
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis today joined Executive Vice President of Empire State Realty Trust Thomas P. Durels at the Empire State Building to illuminate the building for NYC Go Purple Day in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At the event, the Mayor, First Lady and Commissioner Pierre-Louis reached out to New Yorkers to encourage them to move from being bystanders to being UpStanders against domestic violence.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and purple is the symbolic color to raise awareness about domestic violence. New York City will Go Purple on October 15, 2014, a statewide day of observance to recognize the prevalence of intimate partner violence by shining a purple light from the Empire State Building and other key buildings across the five boroughs. The Empire State Building will light up the skies purple from sunset on October 15, until 2 a.m. on October 16. Other City landmarks to Go Purple today include Yankee Stadium, One Bryant Park, One Times Square, Queens Borough Hall, and Brooklyn Borough Hall.
“Awareness is the greatest tool we have to address the issue of domestic violence, which is a largely underreported crime,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Through the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, we have elevated our response to this issue through robust outreach across all boroughs, to connect survivors to NYC Family Justice Centers so they can receive wrap-around services including case management, counseling, civil legal assistance and access to law enforcement and housing assistance. We are committed to ensuring that survivors in New York City have a path to safety and stability.”
“Today, with help from our friends at the Empire State Building and concerned New Yorkers across the five boroughs, we are sending an important message: Domestic violence will not be tolerated in our city,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which I serve as Chair, has made ending domestic violence one of our priority issues. In addition to being longtime supporters of Family Justice Centers, the Fund is also launching a public service announcement designed to shine a light on a movement whose time has come.”
“Under Mayor de Blasio our office has been able to connect with everyday New Yorkers, linking survivors to critical services at our NYC Family Justice Centers,” said Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre Louis. “Today we are taking our campaign to bring an end to domestic violence a step further. We are encouraging all New Yorkers to become UpStanders by speaking up on behalf of victims of abuse.”
To become UpStanders against domestic violence, New Yorkers can:
- Recognize and speak out against intimate partner violence, gender injustice and all forms of abuse.
- Offer unconditional support to someone who has experienced violence.
- Speak up against statements that promote violence.
- Get help from an expert, advocate, or other professional.
- Help share resources with those who need help: NYC DV Hotline 1-800-621-4673; 911 in emergencies; for information and connection to services, call 311 and ask for the OCDV’s Family Justice Centers.
The Empire State Building event is the highlight of a day of activities in which elected officials and volunteers in all five boroughs are conducting outreach and talking about domestic violence to New Yorkers in public spaces. City employees have also been formally encouraged to wear purple which will broaden exposure of this issue.
OCDV is the City government’s hub for citywide delivery of domestic violence services, development of policies and programs, and work with diverse communities in the five boroughs to increase awareness of domestic violence. Through a robust outreach effort, OCDV is able to connect victims to critical services through the City’s Family Justice Centers or other key stakeholders. The FJC’s diverse partner staff collectively speaks over 25 languages and through telephone interpretation can assist in over 150 languages. The four Center’s operational costs are approximately $8 million paid by the City.
OCDV operates the FJCs located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, which provide comprehensive services to victims of intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and sex trafficking. A fifth center will open on Staten Island in 2015.
This year, due in part to OCDV’s reinforced outreach efforts, the centers have had over 43,000 client visits, compared to 34,000 this same period last year. By the end of 2014, OCDV will have presented at every Community Board and Police Precinct Council Meeting. This year alone, OCDV has also participated in over 700 events and distributed almost 175,000 pieces of outreach material. OCDV conducts weekly outreach at transit hubs, business districts, beauty salons, and grocery stores.
Since the first Center opened in 2005, the FJCs have assisted more than 110,000 clients. The services are free and available to all victims who can walk in Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, regardless of income, immigration status, gender identity, or sexual orientation, to obtain case management, counseling and legal assistance. Clients can be assisted during non-business hours by calling 311 for the 24/7 DV hotline and 911 for emergencies.
OCDV also runs the NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy where trained peer educators have taught 2,000 workshops reaching over 39,000 young people on the topics of dating violence and healthy relationships for other young people as well as parents and service providers since its launch in 2005.