Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: February 19, 1997

Release #093-97

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958 or Dwight Williams (212) 788-2972


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today honored the memory of Galina Komar, who was fatally shot one year ago by her boyfriend, Benito Oliver. Joining the Mayor at the City Hall ceremony were Asya Komisarchik, Galina's mother, Galina's daughter, Tatjana, and Maria Mitchell, advisor to the Mayor for Domestic Violence.

"There are terrible tragedies that stir the public consciousness and demand action," Mayor Giuliani said. "A year ago the tragic death of Galina Komar galvanized our entire City against the outrage of domestic violence. Galina was senselessly taken away from us in an act of savage brutality. Although she cannot be with us physically, her powerful and enduring legacy lives on."
The Mayor continued, "For the past three years, our City has worked to increase public awareness and to implement more training and coordination for law enforcement and health care professionals. Galina's tragic death helped to bring domestic violence out from behind closed doors and in the process helped thousands of women in their struggle against abuse. Her memory will always serve as a powerful and poignant reminder for us to remain vigilant in the battle against domestic violence."

Galina Komar came to America from Russia with her mother when she was just 14 years old. Galina dreamed of a better future in New York City and had worked hard all of her life to make her American dream a reality. On February 12, 1996 , Galina was murdered by her boyfriend, Benito Oliver, at her workplace. Despite a long criminal history and two orders of protection Komar filed against him, Oliver had been allowed to walk the streets as a free man.

Over the past three years, New York City has been a pioneer in the area of family violence, advancing new and innovative solutions that empower victims and help them break the cycle of abuse. On October 31, 1996, Mayor Giuliani released "Public-Private Solutions to Combat Family Violence: Mayor Giuliani's Colloquium Group Report," which contains over 40 new initiatives to combat family violence. The report, which has been endorsed by 50 prominent private and public partners, recommends expansion of the Mayor's campaign against domestic violence beyond the limits of City government to include a public-private partnership and a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to this pervasive problem.

New York City has gained prominence as a national leader in the fight against domestic violence, and the municipal response system has markedly improved. Past Giuliani Administration initiatives have included:

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