Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Violence Gender-Based Violence
Monthly Bulletin
April 2020

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Message from Commissioner

Cecile Noel

Cecile Noel silhouette

In the midst of a global pandemic, when we are all being advised to stay home to keep healthy—and when we are all facing increased worry, uncertainty, and stress—survivors of domestic violence (DV) and gender-based violence (GBV) often face the additional and unique challenge of their homes not being safe spaces. When tensions are running high, and spaces, like school or work, that may previously have served as temporary respite from an abusive relationship are no longer available, victims are more likely than before to face increased isolation and danger by spending more time at home with an abusive partner.

Over the past two weeks, visitors to NYC HOPE, the City’s Resource Directory of services for DV and GBV survivors has more than doubled since cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) began to rise in New York City. ENDGBV’s staff and our FJC partners, like so many of you, are working hard to ensure that survivors continue to have access to the vital services and support that they need to feel safe. While our physical spaces may be temporarily closed, staff at the New York City Family Justice Centers remain available to survivors by phone. As ever, the FJCs stand ready to connect survivors to immediate safety planning, civil legal assistance, shelter assistance, community resources, and more.

As the date for non-essential services to potentially come back online is newly extended, and we enter into April and mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it has never been more important for us to stand together. To survivors, I ask you to remember that New York City is here for you, and there are there are numerous ways you can find support and services. From calling an NYC FJC or the City’s 24-hour Domestic Violence hotline, to finding information or help in your community using the NYC HOPE Resource Directory online, to speaking to an advocate online using Safe Horizon’s SafeChat—know this: you are not alone.

Here are a few key basics to keep in mind:

  • New York City domestic violence shelters are open. They are accepting new intakes.
  • Emergency/Essential legal actions remain available through NYS Family Court, which is operating virtually. The courts are open for family offense petitions (orders of protection) and filings to address emergency custody/visitation issues.
  • Existing temporary orders of protection have been extended until cases can be rescheduled.
  • Evictions are suspended in NYS until at least June 20, 2020. You do not need to appear in Housing Court for an eviction case at this time.
  • Public benefits will remain active. All in-person appointments have been waived.
  • You can apply for cash assistance and SNAP with ACCESS HRA, either online or using the mobile app. You can also log on to manage your case and check your EBT balance.
  • Utility shut-offs for non-payment in New York State are suspended until further notice.

To find current information about safety, shelters, meals, social services, and more, please visit ENDGBV’s Resources Page for Survivors During COVID-19. You can also check out New York City’s COVID-19 resource page to learn how to get free internet services or free “Grab and Go” meals for all New Yorkers in need, and much, much more.

We understand how staying at home as the city responds to the COVID-19 can uniquely impact New Yorkers who are experiencing gender-based violence. NYC Family Justice Centers can help, confidentially and for free—from preparing an immediate safety plan to providing support when survivors connect with the courts for a temporary order of protection. We encourage survivors to identify a trusted friend, family member, neighbor or coworker who can check in with them regularly; or with whom they can stay when it may be safer than staying at home. And if you think someone might be in need of support, learn how you can support them, check on them, let them know that you are available.

For our valued partners, please refer to our Resources Page for Survivors During COVID-19 to get connected to loans, grants, and other supports—such as the City’s Small Business Continuity Loan Fund, or the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

For anyone who may be wondering how you can contribute to the citywide effort to address COVID-19, please visit to learn how you can donate food or supplies, or volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps. You may also consider donating blood if you are able, in order to help ensure that blood is available for any patients who may need it.

The stress and isolation that we are all feeling can be remedied by staying connected and engaged, sometimes in ways that are new or different but still provide some joy and comfort. What remains the same is this: In New York City, survivors are never alone. We applaud and are committed to supporting those on the front lines who are supporting survivors. We will get through this together, New York.



Dear New Yorkers, Domestic shelters are still open for for intake

As of Sunday, March 22, all New Yorkers are strongly advised to stay home unless they are considered “essential” workers. All non-essential businesses must remain closed. (Find out what’s considered “essential” in NYS.)

On Saturday, March 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance urging residents of New York,

New Jersey, and Connecticut to "refrain from non-essential domestic travel" until at least April 29, in an effort to prevent residents of the New York metropolitan area, the epicenter of the country's coronavirus outbreak, from spreading the disease to nearby communities.

The Family Justice Centers remain available by phone during business hours, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. while the facilities are closed due to the current public health emergency. Survivors seeking help in the evening or on weekends should call the City’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline (800-621-4673), speak with an advocate using Safe Horizon’s online SafeChat, or locate nearby resources online using NYC HOPE, the City’s Resource Directory for services for survivors.

You can visit the NYC Department of Health online to learn more about how COVID-19 spreads and how to reduce your risk, including how to have safe sex, and sign up for important COVID-19 related updates from the City by texting 'COVID' to 692692. Text 'COVIDESP' to get updates in Spanish.

Vulnerable New Yorkers who have symptoms or questions about COVID-19 can call 1-844-NYC-4NYC to connect with a medical provider from NYC Health + Hospitals.



A person hands open with a yellow flower between them

Many resources remain available for survivors during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Check ENDGBV’s Resources Page for Survivors During COVID-19 where survivors and allies can find current information and links about safety, shelters, meals, courts, social services, and more; and domestic violence programs can find information about small business relief, operating field operations, and more.


Sanctuary for Families

Sanctuary for Families has released a safety planning guide for survivors of gender-based violence. The guide offers digital tools and safety tips from survivors to survivors, to mitigate the risk of harm with an abusive partner. (Safety Planning flyer is also available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, German, and Arabic.)
The Anti-Violence Project has also published a helpful guide, “Tips for When Staying Home Isn't the Safest Plan”.


A know your rights guide for Transgender New Yorkers Navigating COVID-19

Transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals are uniquely vulnerable to discrimination during a public health crisis. Check out Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Know Your Rights Guide for Transgender New Yorkers Navigating COVID-19 for answers to common questions related to legal rights and healthcare access.




Live in NYC? YEs, you fill out the census

Taking ten minutes to answer ten questions—none of which are about immigration status, and all of which are prohibited by federal law from being shared with law enforcement or shared for any purposes other than statistical reporting—will affect the funding that New York City receives for housing, education, roads, and more the next ten years. Census results also affect New York’s representation in every level of government. Though “Census Day” has passed (April 1, 2020), the 2020 Census will be available online at until mid-August. Get counted, New Yorkers!



Denim Day is moving online this year!
2020 marks Denim Day NYC’s ten year anniversary. We are excited to celebrate this milestone with our New York City advocacy community. Take the Denim Day pledge at, and join us on Wednesday, April 29 for a virtual rally. You can check-in at all the places the march usually goes.

Last year, you told us what future free of sexual violence could look and feel like.

This year, we’re asking you to tell us how we can create that future together.

If you would like to submit a personal statement video to be featured on the Denim Day website and/or social media for this year’s Virtual Rally, record a video message on your phone that keeps to the following guidelines:

  • 30-60 seconds
  • Record horizontally, not vertically
  • Include our campaign in your message by telling us what #AViolenceFreeFutureNeeds
  • Show off your best denim outfit and accessories
  • Submit your video in any language...because this campaign is for ALL of us.
  • Submit your video by April 15th to make sure that we are able to post and share them all.

We are also accepting your original artwork—a photo, a poem, a visual representation, or however you’d like to express your response!
Take to social media to share with us and the world what you think #AViolenceFreeFutureNeeds. Be sure to tag us (@denimdaynyc) in your own posts!


Live in NYC? YEs, you fill out the census

We are postponing our “No Steps Back” Conference on the impacts of racism on survivors of sexual violence to explore bringing the conference to a digital platform, in order to observe social distancing. You can follow us on social media for more information to come.


NYC Well Can

It’s natural to feel sad, stressed, or overwhelmed right now. That’s why ThriveNYC has published a new Guide to Mental Health Services that New Yorkers can access while staying at home, including services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students, young people, and survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. NYC Well offers free, confidential mental health support. New Yorkers can speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more


Disclaimer: We believe in the principles of open dialogue and considering varying perspectives. Viewpoints or opinions expressed in the content of this communication or in articles linked do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, or the City of New York.

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