Date: Thursday, December 27, 2001
|Release # 412-01|
|Contact:||Lynn Rasic||(212) 788-2958|
|Tom Antennen (DCPI)||(212) 374-6700|
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced the City's Sixth Domestic Violence Public Education Campaign. The purpose of the campaign, which includes posters on buses and subways throughout the City, is to encourage domestic violence victims to call the City's Domestic Violence Hotline and seek appropriate services and support. The campaign acknowledges the different emotions that victims of domestic violence may have as a result of the events of September 11th.
"Public education is a critical element of the City's comprehensive strategy to combat domestic violence," Mayor Giuliani said. "As a result of our public education campaigns, we have made tremendous progress in bringing this hidden crime out from behind closed doors. The new campaign recognizes the concerns that victims may have as a result of September 11th, and emphasizes the importance of coming forward and seeking assistance."
The campaign posters feature victim quotes such as "I'm used to living in fear. Now it's worse", "With all this tragedy, it's much harder to talk about the abuse," and "Everyone is so busy now. Are there still places I can turn to for help?" Each poster provides the 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline Number, 1-800-621-HOPE, TTY 1-800-810-7444.
Mayor Giuliani also announced the expansion of the City's teen relationship abuse prevention and intervention program, the Adopt-A-School Initiative, which is a collaboration among the Mayor's Commission to Combat Family Violence, the Human Resources Administration, the Board of Education, and three community-based organizations. The program expanded this year to ten additional high schools: Brandeis, Manhattan Center, Martin Luther King, Park West, Seward Park, Beach Channel, Far Rockaway, Franklin Lane, Springfield Gardens, and Susan Wagner.
The program, which provides a full-time relationship abuse counselor for each participating school to conduct educational workshops, individual and group counseling, staff training and parent and community outreach. The program is now operating in a total of 20 schools throughout the five boroughs.
Mayor Giuliani also announced a new program entitled "The Domestic Violence Healthcare Project," which will improve the manner in which healthcare providers address domestic violence by creating domestic violence screening tools and a training curriculum. The program will also encourage victims to disclose domestic violence to healthcare providers through a public education campaign. The program is a collaboration among the Mayor's Commission to Combat Family Violence, the New York City Department of Health, and the Mayor's Office of Grants Administration, and is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
The City's other domestic violence initiatives include:
The Domestic Violence Hotline: Due to the City's extensive public education efforts, the number of calls to the Hotline has more than doubled since its inception. In Fiscal Year 2001, the Hotline received over 131,000 calls.
Alternative to Shelter Program: This program, administered by the Human Resources Administration, gives domestic violence victims the option of remaining safely in their homes by providing each victim with a home alarm system, a cellular telephone pre-programmed to 911, and a complement of support services that includes full-time case management, counseling and referrals.
New York City Police Department Model Domestic Violence Program: This domestic violence program is designed to improve domestic violence-related investigation, increase apprehensions, and services to victims. The program features model precincts that integrate the work of domestic violence, crime prevention, community policing, and youth officers to promote seamless service delivery and increased safety to victims. There are currently 32 model precincts.
Domestic Violence Shelters: The Human Resources Administration increased shelter capacity from 871 beds in Fiscal 1994 to 1,450 beds in Fiscal 2001, an increase of 66.5%.
Domestic Violence Conference: On October 23, 2001, the Mayor's Commission to Combat Family Violence sponsored a conference at John Jay College entitled "Holding the Batterer Accountable: The Criminal Justice System's Response to Domestic Violence". The conference featured speakers from the New York City Police Department, New York City Department of Probation, New York City Department of Correction, New York City Criminal Court, New York County District Attorney's Office, Safe Horizon, and The Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, Inc., and was attended by approximately 250 people.
Shelter Family Literacy Program: The Commission to Combat Family Violence and the Human Resources Administration have implemented this program in two of the City's domestic violence shelters and are in the process of expanding to three additional shelters. The program improves the literacy skills of both parents and children while engaging them in a positive educational experience. Individual and group literacy instruction is offered to both parents and children, in addition to activities such as reading hours, assistance with homework, and creative writing workshops.
Healthcare Response to Domestic Violence: In response to the prevalence of domestic violence cases in the public health care system, all New York City public hospitals include domestic violence screening on their Emergency Room Encounter Sheets. This universal screening in hospital emergency rooms enables the public healthcare system to intervene earlier in the cycle of abuse. Each of the public hospitals has a full-time, dedicated Domestic Violence Coordinator who coordinates the domestic violence services in their respective facilities. In addition to caring for patients, they act as the resident domestic violence experts and educators; they train hospital staff, including doctors, nurses, and social workers, to identify, treat, and refer victims to accessible and appropriate services.
P.H.O.N.E.S.: The Commission to Combat Family Violence sponsored a cellular phone drive as part of the P.H.O.N.E.S. (People Helping Others Needing Emergency Services) Initiative in Spring 2000. New Yorkers donated over 22,000 cellular phones. Phones were re-programmed to dial 911, and distributed to domestic violence victims, senior citizens, neighborhood watch groups, taxi drivers, and others in need of immediate access to emergency services.
Office to Combat Domestic Violence: On November 6, 2001 New York City voters approved a ballot proposal that revises the City Charter to make the office of the Mayor's Commission to Combat Family Violence a permanent office entitled the Office to Combat Domestic Violence.