On Tuesday, Councilmember Laurie A. Cumbo, joined by citywide elected officials and domestic violence survivors, kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Cumbo, chair of the Women's Issues Committee and Vanessa L. Gibson, chair of the Public Safety Issues Committee, announced nearly $6 million was allocated by the New York City Council to support domestic violence programs and initiatives.
October, recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, highlights the need to tackle the epidemic of domestic violence that 1 in 4 women will experience during their lifetime and more than 3 million children witness annually.
The initiatives funded by the New York City Council are as follows: CONNECT, Inc. Community Empowerment Program — $600,000; Domestic Violence and Empowerment (DoVE) Initiative — $4 million; Immigrant Battered Women's Initiative — $1 million; and HRA Legal Services for Domestic Violence Victims — $350,000.
Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) nearly 20 years ago, the nation's response to domestic violence has greatly improved, Cumbo pointed out.
"Domestic Violence is an issue that transcends gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Though this form of violence is prevalent in certain communities, its overwhelming impact on the lives of New Yorkers — particularly women and children — is undeniable and will not be tolerated," said Cumbo.
"The City Council is proud to support critical programming to provide survivors of domestic violence with legal services, safe spaces and compassionate care, regardless of language spoken or immigration status and I commend Women's Issues Chair Cumbo and my colleagues in government for raising awareness around this important issue," said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.