Domestic violence is a leading cause of injury to women in New York City and nationwide. Each year, almost four million American women are terrorized by the men who have promised to love them. Yet it is only recently that Americans are beginning to recognize that family violence is much more than a private matter -- it is an epidemic that impacts the lives of all New Yorkers, in every community, business, and family. Each October, the City of New York sponsors educational activities for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month to boost public understanding of this terrible crime. Today we join cities and states around the nation in observing the first annual Domestic Violence Workplace Education Day.
Domestic violence knows no bounds. Women living in violent homes often carry this experience with them to work, and it shows -- in the form of lost productivity, stress, increased healthcare costs, employee absenteeism and turnover, and too often workplace violence. The U.S. Justice Department estimates that, in 60,000 incidents of on-the-job violence each year, the victims know their attackers intimately, and 74% of employed battered women are harassed by abusive husbands and partners in their work environment.
The workplace holds enormous potential for reaching both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Thus, the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services is working in conjunction with Victim Services to assess the impact of domestic violence on the employees of the City of New York.
Today you will be able to participate in food and clothing drives for domestic violence shelters, and you will see domestic violence educational posters and materials displayed in city buildings. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek assistance. There are counselors waiting to help you at the City's Domestic Violence Hotline, (800) 621-HOPE. If you would like to learn more about how you can end domestic violence in your workplace and your community, call (800) END-ABUSE for a free brochure or, if you have ideas about how we can work together to help victims of domestic violence please contact my Commission to Combat Family Violence at (212) 788-2888.
On this special day, and everyday, please remember: there is no excuse for abuse.