Crown Heights

Clarke: NYPD responds to 770 domestic violence calls daily

October 19, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (center) organized a forum on domestic violence to gather input from experts and elected officials on how to help victims. Photo courtesy of Clarke’s office
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The NYPD responds to a staggering number of domestic violence reports — 770 every day — according to U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, who recently held a forum with experts and elected officials to come up with ways to address the problem.

Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn) said she sponsored the Forum on Domestic Violence Awareness on Oct. 14 to provide residents with information about preventing domestic violence and to offer survivors the resources needed to reclaim their lives. The forum took place at the Brooklyn Museum.

“The problem of domestic violence threatens us in every community in the United States. In New York City, the police department responds to 770 reports of domestic violence every day. Those reports amount to 281,000 incidents each year. We must end the pervasive silence about domestic violence that continues to prevent survivors from accessing critical services and allows these attacks to continue,” Clarke said.

A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed the 770 figure to the Brooklyn Eagle.

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Two years ago, Clarke worked to include protections for women who are undocumented immigrants or who are Native American in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In the wake of the forum, Clarke said sharing information is a key. “I am proud that we could assemble some of the most preeminent experts on domestic violence in the world, women and men who are leaders in the effort to secure the personal dignity of each individual person. Now, we must continue the conversation with our families and our friends, with people we know in our community. We cannot remain silent. Silence allows domestic violence to continue,” she said.

The keynote speaker was Sil Lai Abrams, founder and chief executive officer of the organization Truth in Reality.

Assemblymember Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights-Prospect Lefferts Gardens), who described herself as a survivor, said it’s an issue that cannot be ignored.

“As a survivor, I know first–hand from personal experience that domestic violence is a scourge in our communities, ravaging lives of victims and creating cascading effects on families and whole communities,” she said, adding that the forum “was very powerful and emotional for me.”

Richardson called for the establishment of a “year-round movement to stop the cycle of violence from perpetuating, and alert victims and families to services available to assist them.”

Councilmember Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene-Clinton Hill), who also took part in the forum, said that while the numbers are shocking, it is likely that they are only the tip of the iceberg.

“Every day, hundreds of women are suffering in silence after being subjected to physical or verbal abuse. Thousands of domestic or intimate partner violence incidents often go unreported, due to fear, putting women and children in even greater danger,” Cumbo said.

“The safety of our community is a shared responsibility that requires all of us to take a more active role in curbing the violence that has taken far too many lives,” Cumbo added.

The forum’s participants included Sheila Beverly-Skinner, president of the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; J. Kendall Smalls, Social Action chairman for the Second District of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence; NYPD Domestic Violence Unit Chief Juanita Holmes; Kim Kavern, director of Safe Horizon; Antwone “Mississippi Infiniti” Sewell, an educator with the Center for Anti-Violence Education; Quentin Walcott, co-executive director of Connect; and Carol Maraj, president of the Carol Maraj Foundation.

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