Queens Borough Hall to be Illuminated Purple on October 25 in Honor of Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence

(October 18, 2021 at 3pm)

QUEENS, NY – Domestic and intimate partner violence claimed the lives of 14 Queens residents in 2020, with thousands more suffering the devastating impacts of this shadow pandemic. To provide survivors and their families with the critical information they need to heal and overcome during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. will host a Domestic Violence Awareness Panel and Resource Fair on Wednesday, October 20 from 6PM to 8PM at Queens Borough Hall.

“We all deserve to feel safe in the presence of our partners and our family members. But for far too many Queens residents, their loved ones are the biggest threats to their health and safety,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “No one should suffer in silence or feel stigmatized. If you or someone you know has been impacted by domestic or intimate partner violence, it is our honor to stand with you and help connect you to the resources you need to ensure your well-being.”

The Awareness Panel and Resource Fair, held in the Helen Marshall Cultural Center, will bring together various community organizations, service providers and experts to educate attendees about various forms of abuse and the unique resources available for individual empowerment and community healing. Confirmed organizations include the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the NYC Department of Social Services, the Allen Women’s Resource Center, the Arab American Family Support Center, Garden of Hope, Jahajee Sisters, the Korean American Family Service Center, Safe Horizon, Sakhi for South Asian Women, the Shalom Task Force, Turning Point for Women and Families and Women for Afghan Women.

The pair of panel discussions will focus on the rise in violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and how to recognize the warning signs of abuse and the various forms it can take, as well as how domestic and intimate partner violence overlaps with gender-based violence. Panelists include representatives from the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, the Queens District Attorney’s Office, Safe Horizon, Sanctuary for Families and the Violence Intervention Program Mujeres.

The Borough President’s recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month will continue on Monday, October 25 with a ceremonial purple illumination of Queens Borough Hall to honor of all survivors and all who have lost their lives to this insidious plague of violence.

In addition to the 14 Queens residents who lost their lives to domestic and intimate partner violence in 2020, according to the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, the NYPD responded to 24,138 reports of intimate partner domestic incidents and 16,851 family domestic incidents in Queens alone last year. Nationally, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical or sexual violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“We are proud to partner with the Queens Borough President’s Office for this week’s domestic violence resource fair,” said NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Commissioner CECILE NOEL. “Providers at the NYC Family Justice Center in Queens and in communities throughout the borough, have worked tirelessly to ensure a continuity of services and resources for survivors during the pandemic. This fair will increase awareness throughout Queens, to let its residents know there is help, we are here for them, and they are never alone.”

“The pandemic has caused a massive increase in domestic violence cases, while unemployment also causes tension at home, leading to more child abuse cases. Moreover, families with mental health patients are deeply affected as well,” said Garden of Hope Executive Director YUANFEN KRISTEN CHI. “Garden of Hope’s bilingual team understands the Chinese immigrant’s experience, culture, and heritage and is trained in cultural competency. All services are free.”

“KAFSC wants to thank the Queens Borough President’s Office for inviting KAFSC to the Domestic Violence Awareness Panel and Resource Fair. In 2020, KAFSC received a 300 percent increase in call volume, 88 percent of which were related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse,” said Korean American Family Services Center Executive Director JEEHAE FISCHER. “We know that the most vulnerable in our society often bear the greatest burden in times of crisis and economic hardship. If we work together, we can bring an end to domestic violence from our homes and our community.”

“Sakhi for South Asian Women is a New York based nonprofit organization that has been serving survivors of gender-based violence from the South Asian diaspora for 32 years,” said Sakhi for South Asian Women Outreach and Partnership Specialist RESHMI SENGUPTA. “Our wrap-around services include Anti-Violence, Food Justice, Transitional Housing, Economic Empowerment, Counseling, and Youth Empowerment programming.” 

“Just a year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the entire country to a halt and shut down the city that never sleeps! Millions lost their jobs, their livelihoods, and Queens became the epicenter of the devastation. As many were forced to stay indoors, it further exacerbated the volatile situation that survivors of domestic violence face,” said Turning Point for Women and Families Founder and Executive Director ROBINA NIAZ. “Turning Point for Women and Families continued to be a lifeline for vulnerable women and children and served over one hundred new clients since the start of the pandemic alone. “Our doors will always remain open for those looking for a safe space. We want our community to know that they are not alone and we are here to ensure they live a life of dignity and free of violence.”

“Latinx survivors, particularly immigrants, continually struggle to see themselves reflected in traditional narratives around domestic violence awareness, and the availability of culturally-responsive resources has been more limited than ever during the past 19 months,” said Violence Intervention Program Community Engagement Program Manager KELLY GUAJARDO. “We’re grateful to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr.’s office for serving as a hub for access to these critical resources during a time when survivors continue to feel especially lost, isolated and disconnected.”

“Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is a proud partner of the Queens Borough President’s Office and fellow community-based organizations in NYC that tirelessly support and advocate for survivors of domestic violence,” said Women for Afghan Women Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator MANSOUR RANJBAR. “As an organization that serves NYC’s Muslim immigrants, WAW is keenly aware how the silence and stigma surrounding domestic violence contribute to further victimization. We join the call to break the silence and dismantle the stigmas, so we can finally break the cycle of domestic violence together.”

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