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Press Release

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

City Hall
New York, NY 10007
                                                                                                                                                                            (212) 788-7116
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**                                                                                                             
October 15, 2015

Contact: (212) 788-7116
Release #: 112-2015


 
SPEAKER MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO AND WOMEN’S ISSUES COMMITTEE CHAIR LAURIE CUMBO ANNOUNCE $6.6 MILLION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT SERVICES

New York - In honor of NYC Go Purple Day and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Women’s Issues Committee Chair Laurie Cumbo announced $6.6 million in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget for support services for survivors of domestic violence.
“Domestic violence must never be tolerated in our society and we cannot simply ignore the fact so many New Yorkers still experience abuse in 2015,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Over 12 million people—that’s 1 in 4 women—are impacted by domestic violence every year.  Many of these individuals suffer behind closed doors and in the shadows, unable or afraid to speak out. The Fiscal Year 2016 Budget includes $6.6 Million dollars for legal services, safe spaces and compassionate care for survivors and their families – including $4.68 million for the Domestic Violence and Empowerment (DoVE) Initiative. Together, we will raise much-needed awareness, bringing this problem out of the shadows and connecting more impacted individuals with support and resources they need to protect themselves and their families.”
"We cannot continue to perpetuate domestic and intimate partner violence incidents by remaining silent on the issues that adversely affects women and children in households across this city - particularly in communities of color," said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues.  "Through the ongoing support of the Domestic Violence and Empowerment Initiative, the New York City Council has increased the capacity of community-based organizations and City agencies to provide survivors of domestic violence with vital services and resources as they rebuild their new lives. We must end the stigma and empower survivors of domestic violence to share their stories and inspire others who share similar experiences to find the courage to end the vicious cycle of violence."

The Fiscal 2016 Adopted Budget includes $6.6 million to support services for survivors of domestic violence, including prevention and outreach efforts. For more than a decade the City Council has funded initiatives that provide community-based organizations with the resources they need to deliver services citywide in the areas of legal representation and advocacy, workshops, referrals, and counseling. The funding in this area mirrors other Council initiatives to reform how the City approaches public safety and health by expanding the focus from simply incarceration to address all aspects of crime, including providing supportive services to survivors. The Fiscal 2016 budget continues the historic trend to increase resources to combat domestic violence with an enhancement of $680,000 for the Domestic Violence and Empowerment (DoVE) Initiative. In total, funding for domestic violence services reflects an eleven percent increase above the Fiscal 2015 amount of $5.9 million.
“Domestic violence continues to be one of the most underreported and least talked about crimes in our country today. But even still, it is sadly one of the most frequently reoccurring crimes. With this increase in funding, the City Council is showing victims that they are not alone, and that they can find the strength to stand up for themselves," said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Women’s Caucus Co-Chair. “This initiative is a crucial step in empowering women and breaking down the barriers that keep them in dangerous relationships and situations. I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito for her leadership in this cause.”
“My colleagues and I are committed to combating domestic violence in this city, and we are doing so proactively from within our communities, lending local organizations the support they need to deliver effective counseling, education and legal assistance. Through the Domestic Violence and Empowerment Initiative, the New York City Council is giving voice to those who are often silenced by fear and shame, and giving survivors of domestic violence a helping hand to start over and stronger,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Committee on Finance.
 “Safe Horizon applauds Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council for making thoughtful investments in the FY16 budget to address the crisis of domestic violence in our communities. We are grateful once again for the City Council’s long-standing trust in our ability to successfully administer the DOVE Initiative which allows a diverse array of community-based and law enforcement providers to meet the specific cultural and linguistic needs of individuals and families in need of assistance.  We also thank the City Council for fully restoring funding for the Legal Services for DV Victims Initiative which helps attorneys at Safe Horizon and other organizations provide free, expert representation to survivors seeking protection through the courts.  Through these and other initiatives, the City Council is making an unequivocal statement that domestic violence has no place in our homes, our workplaces or our communities, and we thank the Speaker and her colleagues for their leadership,” said Michael Polenberg, Vice President of Government Affairs at Safe Horizon.
“Domestic violence is a complex, entrenched issue that cannot be tackled by any one agency alone. The Domestic Violence Empowerment Initiative exemplifies cross-sector solutions to this pervasive problem, helping community-based organizations best serve those so desperately in need. I would like to thank City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, our partners at Safe Horizon, and all of the other powerful advocates who have helped New York City lead the way in combatting domestic violence,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
“The Resource Training & Counseling Program is excited to be a part of DOVE.  As we have trained and Counseled many individuals who are survivors of Domestic Violence we applaud the City Council for moving this initiative forward.  This funding has paved the way for us to educate and help many more survivors,” said Donna Mae DePola, President/CEO  of The Resource Training Center.
“We thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, Councilmembers Arroyo and Palma, and the Bronx Delegation, for their unwavering support of Bronx survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Bronx Legal Services is committed to using DoVE funding to help ensure legal rights, and the basic human rights of survivors to move forward with their lives, free from their abusers and free from violence,” said Jane Aoyama-Martin, Project Director, Legal Services NYC-Bronx.
“Legal Services NYC greatly appreciates the support of the Speaker and the entire City Council for this critical source of funding that makes it possible for us to represent low-income survivors and help them move forward with their lives,” said Nancy Goldhill, Founder of Staten Island Legal Services.
“Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) applauds the Council's commitment to funding the Domestic Violence and Empowerment (DoVE) Initiative. DoVE funding provides critical support to community based organizations who provide services to victims of violence and reassures victims that they are not alone.  DoVE ensures that resources are available for some of the most vulnerable NYC residents and speaks volumes about this administrations' commitment to improve the lives of all New Yorkers,” said Maria Lizardo, Executive Director for Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation.
We commend Speaker Mark-Viverito, Women's Issues Committee Chair Laurie Cumbo and the New York City Council for their unwavering support of domestic violence survivors.  Together we can and must end the scourge of domestic violence,” said Peggy Earisman, Director of Manhattan Legal Services.
"The City Council's DoVE Initiative brings critical resources to community-based organizations delivering services to specific populations and neighborhoods. Increasing these resources helps ensure that young survivors of dating abuse served by Day One will get specialized attention and teens citywide will receive healthy relationships workshops while in school,” said Stephanie Nilva, Executive Director of Day One.
"The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center is pleased to have been awarded a DOVE grant that will continue to support efforts to end Domestic Violence. We stand together to celebrate Go Purple Day demonstrating a strong commitment to everyone, that domestic violence is not being tolerated,” said Giselle Melendez, CEO/Executive Director of Kingsbridge Heights Community Center.
“In the community that we serve, domestic violence continues to be veiled in silence despite the high incident levels. Breaking that silence is not an easy task. But, it is even harder for our clients because they face additional barriers in seeking help due to strong cultural views of stigma and shame, coupled with limited English proficiency and fear of deportation. DoVE funding made it possible for us to connect with those who are the hardest-to-reach, and help break the silence one person at a time. With your support, we are able to collaborate with faith-based communities, the elected officials and other community based organizations to raise awareness of domestic violence, not only at a local level but also at a national level. Thank you, Speaker Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council for all you do to empower women and our community,” said Ji Ye Kim,  Community Outreach & Education Coordinator at the Korean American Family Service Center.
“JASA applauds the New York City Council for including $4.68 million in funding for DOVE and anti-domestic violence services. As one of the largest and most programmatically diverse agencies serving 43,000 older adults in the New York area, JASA sees firsthand the urgent need for increased funding for elder abuse prevention through our LEAP (Legal Elder Abuse) programs. It is our experience that elder abuse, a major under-reported problem among older adults, often involves a domestic violence and family related component.  The services provided are essential for prevention and intervention and for protecting vulnerable elders from dangerous and, in many cases, life threatening situations,” said Elaine Rockoff, Director of Community Based Programs at JASA.
“The DOVE initiative enables Met Council to serve our City’s most vulnerable by addressing their immediate safety and working towards self-sufficiency and healing-- and thanks to the generosity of the City Council, this year’s increased allocation will enable us to expand this critical programming.  We thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Members Ferreras, Cumbo, and Gibson for their leadership, as well as Council Members Dromm, Koslowitz, Maisel, Mealy, Ulrich, Matteo, Vacca, and Weprin for their unwavering support of Met Council’s Family Violence Department. We know that the face of domestic violence is as diverse as our City, which is why we address clients’ needs within the context of their cultural and religious norms. For two decades Met Council has been a proud leader in serving victims of domestic violence in the Jewish and immigrant communities,” said Alan Schoor, CEO and Executive Director of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

“The New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, has been steadfast in its strong support of NYC’s domestic violence community.  Due to the extraordinary efforts of the Speaker, Women’s Issues Committee Chair Laurie Cumbo and the other Council Members, City Council support allows organizations like Sanctuary for Families to provide programs and services that help thousands of survivors, every year, to leave abusers and create safe, independent lives for themselves and their families. We proudly stand with the City Council as we celebrate "Go Purple Day" during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, said Judge Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families.
 
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