(QUEENS, NY) - October 7, 2010 - New York State Senator Jose R. Peralta was joined by the District Attorney Richard Brown and Safe Horizon’s CEO Ariel Zwang to announce $50,000 in funding for domestic violence programs and initiatives in Queens. Senator Peralta has joined forces with the DA and Safe Horizon to address this insidious crime on the city and state level.
Nineteen family-related homicides and 6,500 arrests in Queens alone last year. More than 250,000 police responses and 140,000 calls to a city hotline.
These are only some of the startling statistics related to domestic violence, an everyday occurrence for far too many people living throughout the city.
During the past few years, the city and Queens have responded to more domestic violence calls with more arrests taking place.
In 2007, police responded to approximately 230,000 domestic violence incidents and approximately 235,000 in 2008. The roughly 15,000 increase from 2008 to 2009 may be attributed to factors beyond just more incidents taking place.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) joined Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Safe Horizon’s CEO Ariel Zwang and Queens clergy last Thursday to announce $50,000 in aid to combat domestic violence throughout the borough.
“I am committed to finding solutions to break the cycle of domestic violence in our community,” Peralta said, as he stood next to two giant checks written out to Queens programs. “While it is true that females are the victims in most instances of abuse, the effects of domestic violence are felt throughout every segment of our society,” he added.
Senator Peralta Launches Faith-Based Initiative to Combat Domestic Violence
As part of his campaign to combat domestic violence, State Senator Jose Peralta enlisted the help of more than 30 Queens clergy, who accepted his call to talk about the problem of family violence with their congregations and to provide referrals to potentially life-saving services.
At a meeting with the clergy at the Langston Hughes Library in East Elmhurst, Senator Peralta asked the clerics to take up the issue during services on the last Sabbath of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Senator Peralta will be holding a breakfast with clergy members to discuss identifying, treating and preventing domestic violence in our community.
Representatives from Safe Horizon, Queens District Attorneys' Office, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and others will provide information concerning resources and services available for victims of domestic violence.
Nearly one-third of New York City’s homeless population are victims of domestic violence who have made the difficult decision to walk away from a bad situation. But when they turn to the city for help, some say they’re facing risky, sometimes life-threatening red tape. Government Affairs Reporter Melissa Russo reports.
“Published reports and a City Council hearing today are shining a long overdue light on NYCHA’s broken system for providing emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence.
“It is a travesty to require women to risk their lives to produce the paperwork needed to qualify for emergency housing—and then not provide that housing.
“The expansion of the list of crimes that would not require a second documented instance of abuse is a welcome change, but more needs to be done to protect those who are unable to go to the police in the first place.”
“I have introduced a bill that would enable domestic violence victims to be considered for emergency NYCHA housing without having to first contact authorities and put themselves in danger of retribution from their batterers.
“What my bill can’t do is make NYCHA cut wait times of as long as 10 years. That is something NYCHA needs to address.
“The many advocates for domestic violence victims who support my bill do so because the lack of safe, affordable, permanent housing is one of the biggest impediments victims face in their effort to escape an abusive environment. NYCHA has taken a small first step toward cutting red tape for victims, but much, much more needs to be done to fix the system.”