Tough Reference Questions in Tough Times


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Tough Reference Questions in Tough Times

  1. 1. New York City Family JusticeCenter, Queens Queens Library December 11, 2012Mayor Michael R. BloombergCommissioner Yolanda B. JimenezDistrict Attorney Richard Brown
  2. 2. A frequent question is “What is Domestic Violence?” DV is a pattern of power and control. It is not just about hitting. It usually begins with put-downs, and often includes:  Depriving a person from contact with friends and family (with different excuses as to why they need to be away from the people who care for her)….  Frequent calls and demands to know where they are each minute of the day  Telling the partner they don’t know how to care for their children or they don’t know how to care for themselves  Extreme jealousy and accusations  It will often escalate to physical aggression and brutality Domestic violence can occur between intimate partners, siblings, or can occur between a caretaker and a vulnerable elderly or disabled
  3. 3. Defining the Problem Victims/Survivors  Spouse or Ex-spouse  Currently living together or previously lived together  Boyfriend/Girlfriend or Ex-boyfriend/Ex- girlfriend  Children in common  LGBTQ relationships
  4. 4. Who are victims of domestic violence? Every race, religion, ethnicity,sexual orientation, gender, socio- economic status, etc.
  5. 5. Victims often unaware of effects of DV to child witnesses The effects of witnessing repeat violence can be far ranging and include: depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, insecurity, aggression toward others, physical ailments Children see signs, hear sounds, are more aware than parents think Children may feel responsible
  6. 6. The importance of safety planning Most DV homicides occur when the victim attempts to separate from the abuser Safety plans should be tailored according to each individual’s circumstance QFJC clients receive safety planning, which may include:  Copying and storing important documents  Using a code with a trusted friend when abuse is escalating  Teaching children to be familiar with address and emergency numbers  Knowing how NYPD can help her remove her items from the home safely
  7. 7. Impact on Victim Minimizing abuse Love for partner and hope s/he will change Sense that a nurturing relationship is not possible Fear of worse harm Traditional beliefs about marriage and parenting Fear of ACS involvement/children being removed
  8. 8. Impact on Victim Economic Dependence  Victim (and children) financially dependent on batterer  Victim does not have resources to go elsewhere independently/fear of disruption in life in moving to shelter/concerns about living in shelter Criminal Justice System  Victim fears police or not being believed  Victim does not understand criminal court process
  9. 9. Additional Barriers No Immigration Status Non-English speaking Elderly Teens (fear upsetting parents) LGBTQ (being “outted”) Male victims Disabled victims
  10. 10. Civil Service Model Who is the expert?  Client is the expert on her/his experience  Practitioners are experts on general information and available resources  Client’s self-determination is respected  She should not feel someone else is trying to control her  She should feel she will be accepted and respected if/when she is ready to make changes
  11. 11. If you know someone who is a victim of DV or intimidation by a partner Don’t judge Let her know that help is available Offer to help when she is ready Let her know that the threat to her safety may increase when she attempts to leave It’s important for her to plan and prepare carefully
  12. 12. Domestic Violence Statistics In 2011, over 700 domestic incidents were reported to the police daily Hotline: In 2011, an average of 310 calls were made to the City’s domestic violence hotline daily Citywide: over 700 domestic violence reports are filed daily Nationally: Between 25% and 37% of women will be assaulted by an intimate partner in their lifetime In 2011 there were 92 homicides in NYC; in nearly 70% of cases the victim had no prior contact with police
  13. 13. New York City Family Justice Center, Queens (QFJC) The QFJC is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) in partnership with the Queens County District Attorney’s office, and 20 city agency and non-profit service providers In NYC, there are currently three FJC’s that are all operated by OCDV: Brooklyn (2005), Queens (2008), and Bronx (2010) Collectively, the NYC Family Justice Centers have served over 80,000 victims of domestic violence The QFJC has had over 44,000 client visits and over 3,400 children have visited Margaret’s Place, our children’s activity room
  14. 14. Services Provided The FJCs are walk-in centers open Mon- Fri, 9-5, where domestic violence victims can choose the services they want, including:  Adult and children’s counseling  Housing and public benefits assistance  Family court, matrimonial and immigration legal assistance  Meeting with law enforcement/prosecution  Self-sufficiency workshops and counseling
  15. 15. Client ConcernsPrivacy: Victim’s identity, status as a DV victim and immigration status may not be revealed without express written consent-- Protected under the Mayor’s Executive Order 41 Information is not shared with law enforcement, unless the client chooses to do so herself Information is not shared with outside government agencies or entered in any publicly accessible database
  16. 16. NYC’s Executive Order 41 Protects Immigrants Under New York City’s Executive Order 41 all victims of crimes in New York City, including domestic violence, can call the police for protection. New York City police officers do not report the immigration status of crime victims or crime witnesses to federal immigration authorities Requires City employees to protect the confidentiality of information about a person’s sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a crime witness, receipt of public assistance, and information in income tax records 16
  17. 17. Immigration Remedies VAWA self-petitions Battered spouse and battered child waivers VAWA cancellation U visa T visa Asylum Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  18. 18. Language Resources Language Line live interpretation service in 150 languages Service providers speak 20 languages FJC brochures available in 8 languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Creole, Russian, & Bengali online at
  19. 19. Services Not Provided  Supervised visitation  Couples counseling or mediation  Batterers Intervention Programs
  20. 20. Contact information New York City Family Justice Center, Queens 126-02 82nd Avenue Kew Gardens, NY 11415 Office: (718) 575-4500Safe Horizon Hotline: Safe Horizon DV Hotline – 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)New York Citys main source of government information and non- emergency services – 311 • Safe Horizon DV Hotline – 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)