By Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes
One of the aims of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to recommit to making everyone’s home a safe place for them to live. It is important for victims of domestic violence to be aware of the help that is available to them at my office, which has a number of programs to address domestic violence.
My administration continues to be strongly committed to reducing the prevalence of domestic violence and assisting those who suffer from its devastating effects. Ending domestic violence requires a joint effort of every part of our society, which must work collaboratively to communicate that domestic violence is always unacceptable. This month and throughout the year, each of us must commit ourselves to be vigilant in recognizing and combating domestic violence in our community, and supporting those that have been affected.
We are committed to holding domestic abusers accountable by prosecuting them to the full extent of the law. I encourage victims and their families and friends to seek assistance if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence. You can contact the Family Justice Center at (718) 250-5111, as well as the New York City Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 621-HOPE (4673), or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799-SAFE. In an emergency call 911 immediately.
My Domestic Violence Bureau is staffed by specially trained prosecutors, social workers and counselors. They prosecute batterers and provide support services to victims through numerous programs including:
* The AWARE program provides victims who face a high risk of physical abuse with emergency necklace pendants and electronic security systems to alert the police in case of danger.
* The Cell Phone program is designed to help domestic violence victims by providing them with cell phones programmed to only dial 911 in case of an emergency.
* The Family Justice Center, located in my office’s headquarters at 350 Jay St., 15th Floor, combines the services of various government, community and non-profit agencies to make it easier for domestic violence victims to get all the help that they need in one location.
* The Barrier Free Justice program provides services to domestic violence victims who are deaf or disabled. This program offers many services including crime prevention, counseling, and assistance with shelter and housing.
* The Teen Dating Violence program provides services to young people aimed at ending violence through advocacy and community outreach.
Additionally, although domestic violence affects individuals of every race, gender and background, my office is staffed with specially trained personnel who speak many languages and are sensitive to differences in culture and religion.
I ask everyone to join me to speak out against domestic violence and support my efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing that they need and deserve.