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Mayor de Blasio, First Lady McCray, Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Noel Kick Off Domestic Violence Awareness Month With "NYC Go Purple" Day

October 6, 2016

City to illuminate buildings in purple tonight, host series of events throughout October to raise awareness around domestic violence and healthy relationships.

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel today joined elected officials from across the five boroughs – including co-chairs of the Women’s Caucus, Council Members Laurie A. Cumbo and Helen Rosenthal – for NYC Go Purple Day in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To mark the annual day of awareness, buildings and landmarks across the City will light up in purple, including City Hall, One Police Plaza, the Yankee Stadium Jumbotron, Borough Halls in each borough, the Queens Museum and the Parachute Jump at Coney Island. All City Agencies have been encouraged to participate by asking their employees to wear purple and to post on social media with the hashtag #NYCGoPurple. NYPD precincts will be decorating their buildings and cars with banners and ribbons. The City will also host programming throughout the month designed to raise awareness around domestic violence and the resources available to victims, survivors, and their children.

“No New Yorker should feel unsafe, especially within their own home and surrounded by the people they love. That’s why we’re raising awareness about healthy relationships and the resources available to those who find themselves in unhealthy or abusive situations,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Since we opened the doors to the Staten Island Family Justice Center earlier this year, I’m proud to say that every New Yorker – regardless of age, race, language, gender or sexual identity or immigration status – can walk into a center in their own borough to receive critical services, from legal counseling to housing assistance.”

“Domestic violence affects New Yorkers of every ethnicity, every socioeconomic class and in every borough," said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Honorary Chair of the Committee on Gender Equity. "NYC Go Purple Day helps us spread the message that we can never tolerate domestic violence. We reach many survivors with our Go Purple events. Our message is that there are services available in safe locations to help them heal and put their lives back together. We are focused on reaching as many survivors as possible, but also want to prevent domestic violence, and help women and girls understand that they should be treated with respect.‎"

On NYC Go Purple Day, City and elected officials and volunteers in all five boroughs will conduct outreach and provide information about domestic violence to New Yorkers in public spaces. All New Yorkers, including City employees, are encouraged to wear purple and post photos on social media with the hashtag #NYCGoPurple.

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the year, the City encourages all New Yorkers to:

  • Recognize and speak out against intimate partner violence, gender injustice and all forms of abuse.
  • Offer unconditional support to someone who has experienced violence.
  • Speak up against statements that promote violence.
  • Get help from an expert, advocate, or other professional.
  • Help share resources with those who need help: NYC DV Hotline 1-800-621-4673; 911 in emergencies; for information and connection to services, call 212-788-3156 and ask for OCDV’s Family Justice Centers.

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Herminia Palacio said, “NYC Go Purple Day is a day for hope, when we see elected officials, City agencies, and New Yorkers across the city come together to bring domestic violence out of the shadows. We know that domestic violence can affect anyone, and this Administration is committed to doing all that we can to help New Yorkers leave their abusers and rebuild their lives. Thank you to everyone who is out there today making sure that the people of our city know the many vital domestic violence resources available to them. The more we all know, the more we are able to help those around us find the help they need.”

“I can think of no better way to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. NYC Go Purple Day proves that every individual in this city has the power to make a difference by raising awareness around domestic violence and sharing resources and information that are vital to helping survivors. This year I am especially grateful that, thanks to the partnership of Council Members Laurie A. Cumbo and Helen Rosenthal, more than 35 Council Members – a record number – are out in their districts this morning discussing domestic violence and the network of resources available in New York City with their constituents. I am also grateful to the many New York City buildings and landmarks that are lighting up in purple to mark this day. I encourage every New Yorker to take part, and to learn how to help a family member, friend or neighbor who is experiencing domestic violence. Every one of us has the power to make a difference,” said Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel.

“NYC Go Purple” is a great opportunity to show solidarity with domestic violence survivors and to share information about the City resources available to all those affected by it,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “The recent expansion of shelter beds for domestic violence survivors demonstrates this Administration’s commitment to serving survivors and their families by increasing availability and access to confidential, specialized services that can assist them in regaining safety and control of their lives.”

Azi Khalili, Executive Director of the Commission on Gender Equity, said, “The Commission on Gender Equity strives every day to create a city where women and girls – regardless of race, ethnicity, class, gender identity and sexual orientation – can live free from violence and discrimination, with dignity and respect. Teaching our young people about healthy relationships and raising awareness about the City’s resources for victims and survivors is crucial to ensuring a safe city.”

“DCAS will be lighting several municipal buildings across the five boroughs for Go Purple, shining a light on the importance of preventing domestic violence, and promoting healthy relationships.” said Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “Every New Yorker needs to know about the resources available in our city to combat domestic violence.”

"NYC Go Purple Day is a reminder that there are many vulnerable people right here in our city who are survivors of domestic violence, and that all of us share a responsibility to be aware of and help stop this horrific crime," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "Whether it's speaking out when we see something, or reaching out to support a survivor, we have an obligation to protect the vulnerable women and men who have been victims of domestic violence. I will continue to support all efforts on the federal level to fight this heinous crime."

“Domestic violence is not a woman’s issue, but one that affects all of us. Throughout the city of New York, there are thousands of survivors who have started a new life and thousands more who are unable to call for help. During October, we wear purple for domestic violence awareness, to represent the incredible survivors, advocates and additional resources we need in our communities. Every 9 seconds a woman is beaten, and roughly 4,000 women die each year in the U.S. as a result of domestic violence. As Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and Co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, it is an honor to be co-hosting the annual NYC Go Purple Day with Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Commissioner Cecile Noel of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence. Proudly, there will be over 35 Council Members participating in NYC Go Purple Day to promote domestic violence support services, empowerment resources, and our Family Justice Centers throughout the five boroughs. It is our obligation to support and lift up survivors, because when we wear our purple proudly we encourage people to break their silence, seek treatment, and we recruit new advocates so that we can continue to keep growing stronger,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus.

Council Member Helen Rosenthal, co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, said, “Today we wear purple in solidarity with survivors of intimate partner violence, and to raise awareness of the tremendous pain that New Yorkers are experiencing. Domestic violence is particularly insidious as many assaults go unreported. Purple Day is an important tool to raise awareness so that New Yorkers are able to recognize and speak out on behalf of victims of abuse. In our City’s efforts to end domestic violence, I’d like to praise the work of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and highlight Council Member Laurie Cumbo’s efforts in organizing Go Purple Day 2016.”

NYC Go Purple Day also marks the start of a series of domestic violence-related events taking place in the city throughout the month of October. Events include:

  • Thursday, October 13 at 10:00 AM: Gibney Dance and OCDV will hold an assembly for 100 NYC public school students showcasing Gibney’s Hands Are for Holding program at its 280 Broadway location. Hands Are for Holding is a dance project that addresses teen dating violence in a preventative capacity and raises awareness.
  • Thursday, October 13 at 2:30 PM: The Staten Island Family Justice Center will hold a Resource Fair and Domestic Violence Forum in partnership with the College of Staten Island and the Staten Island Borough President’s office. This event will engage the college community around intimate partner violence and sexual assault and will welcome all young adults attending CSI and the other colleges in the area, as well as health care providers serving young adults.
  • Friday, October 14 at 9:30 AM: The Bronx Family Justice Center and Columbia University Medical Center will co-host a training event to provide leaders from various mental health providers in the Bronx and throughout the City with the opportunity to learn about the intersections of mental health and IPV and best practices for working with survivors of domestic violence, as well as to strengthen their referral networks.
  • Thursday, October 20 at 9:30 AM: The Staten Island Family Justice Center is inviting members of the faith community to a breakfast to discuss opportunities for collaboration and training, specifically around identifying victims of intimate partner violence and referring them to appropriate resources.
  • Friday, October 21 at 10:00 AM: The Queens Family Justice Center will host a full-day medical services/client and partner appreciation fair with offerings that include mobile testing, a client appreciation luncheon and a domestic violence presentation for hospital and clinic staff in Queens. A Community Healthcare Network Mobile Van will offer primary care health services as well as PrEP and PEP (HIV care) services, HIV testing and treatment, STI testing and treatment, condoms, emergency contraception (Plan B), birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, mental health care, breast self-exams and referrals for mammograms.
  • Tuesday, October 25 at 6:00 PM: The de Blasio Administration will host the 3rd Annual NYC Upstander Awards, honoring New Yorkers who go above and beyond to raise awareness around domestic violence and to help survivors. Cast members from The Color Purple will be in attendance to mark the celebration.
  • Wednesday, October 26 at 10:00 AM: The Brooklyn Family Justice Center will host a full-day event that will address the needs of community members and domestic violence survivors seeking economic advancement and employment opportunities. Agencies, community-based organizations and employers will table and promote opportunities, with a focus on recruiting programs that have vocational training components, job-focused internships and cooperative opportunities.
  • Wednesday, October 26 at 8:30 AM: OCDV and the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College will present a press briefing titled “Behind Closed Doors: How Can We Prevent Domestic Violence Homicides?” Leading specialists from law enforcement, researchers and service providers will brief the press on innovative approaches underway in New York City and elsewhere to reduce the deadly toll of domestic violence. Details of a special fellowship program for journalists interested in learning about the issue further will also be announced.
  • Thursday, October 27 at 10:30 AM: The Queens Family Justice Center, in coordination with the Queens Borough President’s Office, is coordinating an event featuring male speakers to engage and empower men around the issue of intimate partner violence. This event will welcome men of all ages to join the conversation on intimate partner violence with an emphasis on engaging younger men.
  • Friday, October 28 at 1:00 PM: The Brooklyn Family Justice Center will host a forum for New York City-based employers that will focus on building knowledge and awareness around trauma and legal protections for domestic violence survivors. In coordination with this event, OCDV will be launching a new educational brochure with the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) that provides information about protections for domestic violence survivors in the workplace and information about best practices for employers.

The Staten Island Ferry Terminal will also be promoting OCDV messaging on its Zippertron.

There are many events open to the public throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For a full list, OCDV has created the NYC Domestic Violence Awareness Month Calendar, which can be accessed here:

This summer, the City opened the Staten Island Family Justice Center, the City’s fifth, and completed the de Blasio administration’s vision of having a Center in every borough. This summer OCDV also unveiled its Policy & Training Institute, which will assist City agencies and community-based organizations in reviewing and updating their domestic violence policies, and providing tailored trainings for their staff. Included within the Institute is the NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy which last year conducted over 300 workshops and trained almost 7,000 youth, parents and organizational staff about what a healthy relationship consists of and looks like. This year, as part of the Academy, OCDV also introduced the Creating Awareness about Relationship Equality (CARE) Program, which will bring our trainings to the over 5,000 youth in the City’s foster care system, giving them the tools they need to build healthy relationships.

The Office of Domestic Violence (ODV) under the Human Resources Administration (HRA) oversees the largest system of domestic violence services in the country, which includes 54 shelters that offer safety, hope, and a path to healing for over 3,000 adults and children each day. ODV also directly operates the largest domestic violence shelter in NYC. While in shelter, survivors receive support services including counseling, preparation for permanent housing, help locating adequate housing, child care services, help applying for benefits such as public assistance and rental assistance programs, access to job readiness and placement programs, and financial development and economic empowerment services. This year, HRA began the expansion of its shelter bed system to add 400 tier II units and 300 emergency beds – approximately 13,300 more children and adults will be served annually. The expansion focuses on providing a safe haven for single survivors of domestic violence, including single pregnant women and women with very young children.

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said, “My staff and I are happy to wear purple and help raise awareness of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a time to reflect on the numerous individuals and families that are affected by domestic violence every day. It is our hope that this show of solidarity will offer the victims and survivors of abusive relationships strength and hope.”

“Domestic violence is a scourge on our society,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “At every level, we must work to raise awareness, stamp out violence and support survivors. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is important to deliberately mark and recognize with events like Go Purple Day specifically because the tragedy of domestic violence too often remains secret, unspoken and behind closed doors.”

“Domestic abuse and intimate partner violence is a real and persistent problem in our communities. Too often, victims don't seek help and are forced to hide in the shadows for fear of being stigmatized or ostracized. Today New York City stands together in support of victims of domestic violence and their families. I am proud to take part in Go Purple Day and thankful to Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Commissioner Cecile Noel of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for their dedication to destigmatizing domestic abuse. I am also proud to work alongside the City Council's Women's Caucus Co-Chairs Council Members Laurie Combo and Helen Rosenthal, and I thank them for their leadership,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson.

“Domestic violence continues to be a silent crime that occurs behind closed doors, and we must do everything we can to empower survivors and provide resources that will help lift up their voices. Working together, we can bring greater attention to domestic violence issues and hopefully put a stop to it – and that’s why Domestic Violence Awareness Month and all the related events are so important. I look forward to working in partnership with legal services, advocates and elected officials to put an end to domestic violence,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

About the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
The Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) formulates policies and programs, coordinates the citywide delivery of domestic violence services and works with diverse communities and community leaders to increase awareness of domestic violence. OCDV collaborates closely with government and nonprofit agencies that assist domestic violence survivors and operates the New York City Family Justice Centers. These co‐located multidisciplinary domestic violence service centers provide vital social service, civil legal and criminal justice assistance for survivors of intimate partner violence and their children under one roof.

For more information on services offered through the City’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, call 212-788-3156 or visit the website at

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