Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Domestic violence

Domestic violence

  • With Critical Supportive Housing for Domestic Violence Victims at Risk, We Need Governor Hochul to Step Up

    Gov. Hochul signs legislation (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    Everyone wants to feel secure in their own home, but for survivors of domestic violence, safety is an absolute necessity. 

    At New Destiny Housing, we have spent nearly two decades building supportive housing for domestic violence survivors, striving to provide the security and support services that our families need to remain safe from violence and begin to rebuild their lives. 

    But the chronic underfunding of

  • Bridging the Gap in Understanding the Link Between Domestic Violence and Brain Injury

    Answering the call (credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    If you ask most Americans to describe what comes to mind when you say the word “concussion,” they will likely describe a staggering football player being helped off the field. This is understandable, as football is fully enmeshed in our culture. When Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a...

  • Criminalized Survivors Deserve Sentencing Reform

    Gov. Hochul signs legislation (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    Although it might sound counterintuitive to some, sentencing reform is necessary to effectively address intimate partner violence and support victims.

    To start with, sentencing reform benefits criminalized survivors, victims of violence convicted of crimes related to their own victimization. Sometimes the victims of these crimes are their abusive partners; sometimes the crimes are committed at the behest of, or under duress from, their

  • We Need to Utilize All Proven Strategies to End Domestic Violence

    A march against domestic violence (photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)

    Though Domestic Violence Awareness Month has ended, domestic violence is a tragedy that occurs every month, and every day. Uplifting the voices of survivors, recognizing the harm of abuse, and pursuing evidence-based solutions to break cycles of violence must be year-round priorities. 

    And sometimes, that evidence points in unconventional directions.

    Our primary duty is to support survivors of

  • Aiding Domestic Violence Survivors and Addressing the Crisis on Rikers Island

    Protesting conditions on Rikers (photo: Gerardo Romo/NYC Council Media Unit)

    Stephanie grew up without a stable family and ended up in an abusive relationship with a boyfriend. A cycle of physical and emotional violence continued for years, leading to Stephanie giving him drugs while he was in prison, which resulted in her incarceration.

    When she was released and returned to the city, Stephanie’s boyfriend raped her, and she became pregnant. Afraid for her life, she went to a domestic violence shelter. Stephanie’s parole

  • How New York City Can Make Supportive Housing Key to Ending Family Homelessness


    Supportive housing (photo: @newdestinyorg)

    As Mayor Adams wraps up his first month on the job, one of the most daunting issues he’ll have to address is the city’s homelessness crisis. Within this larger crisis, an often-unseen demographic is particularly in need of urgent action – families with children, the largest segment of people experiencing homelessness.

    While there has been a dip during the pandemic in the number of families experiencing homelessness, New York City still leads the nation in family homelessness with an estimated

  • Governor Hochul, Now’s the Time to Give Domestic Violence Survivors Real Rental Support

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    Ready for a bill-signing (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

    Even before the pandemic, domestic violence was a leading cause of family homelessness in New York City, where a majority of shelter residents are single women of color and their children. In large part, this is

  • ​Hochul Signs Two Bills to Protect Domestic Violence Survivors

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    Gov. Kathy Hochul (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

    Governor Kathy Hochul is signing two bills Thursday to protect the personal information and finances of domestic violence survivors fleeing their abusers.

    One bill allows survivors to shield their home address in public records when registering to vote with the Board of Elections. The second bill requires utility companies to ...

  • How the Biden Administration Should Better Protect Immigrant Domestic Violence Survivors Like Me

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    March against domestic violence (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)

    As President Biden begins to make good on his promise to reverse some of the Trump Administration’s most heinous immigration policies, I welcome the changes but hope he is able to dig deeper. Because for every horrific Trump Administration immigration policy that was announced and grabbed

  • We Have a New Tool to Remove Guns from Abusers; We Must Use It to Save Lives

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    Guns (photo: Mayor's Office)

    2020 has been a devastating year for people across the globe, especially right here in New York City. The isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly dangerous for people in homes where there is intimate partner violence — an epidemic that has only grown worse this year. Although there have been fewer reported domestic violence crimes in New York City this year than previous years, advocacy groups and survivor hotlines have been flooded with more calls than any time in history. The truth is that domestic

  • We Must Take Steps Now to Help Domestic Violence Survivors

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    Seeking an end to domestic violence and protecting survivors (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)

    Three women tragically lost their lives in New York City over the course of one week due to domestic violence. Thousands of women and children remain in danger. Many are faced with the devastating choice of staying with an abuser or losing their home.  

    Domestic violence was the ...

  • Lives On The Line: The Critical Need to Preserve Funding for Domestic Violence Programs

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    A domestic violence hotline (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the dangers facing domestic violence survivors.

    Survivors are facing escalating violence, increased isolation, and economic insecurity. And there are new and formidable barriers to finding safety. Tragically, three domestic violence victims in New York City - Vanessa Pierre, Ai Min, and Jessica Mitcham - lost their lives at the hands of abusive partners in recent days.

    At this critical time, the programs domestic violence survivors depend

  • Saving Lives from Domestic Violence

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    City Hall in purple (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    One survivor used the word “red” in telephone calls with her best friend when she and her children were in trouble. A family living with an abuser placed a photo in a window visible from the street – when the photo was not visible it meant they were in trouble. Another survivor signaled for help with a special knock on the wall shared with a next-door neighbor.

    As a domestic violence survivor said in “When Staying Home Isn’t Safe,” one of

  • Ensuring Domestic Violence Survivors Have the Resources They Need

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    Purple lights for domestic violence awareness (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)

    Over the past three months, our lives have come to depend almost entirely on technology. Canceled your wedding? Get married on Zoom! Want to introduce a new baby to the family? FaceTime them. Technology has allowed us to stay virtually connected when we are more physically disconnected than ever due to COVID-19.

    But for domestic violence survivors, technology can be a double-edged sword. It can connect them to help, but it can also become a dangerous tool

  • City Council to Examine Domestic Violence Trends, Services Amid Coronavirus Shutdown

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    Council Member Helen Rosenthal, second from right, and other Council members (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)

    With New Yorkers sheltering at home during the coronavirus outbreak, advocates, experts, and elected officials are worried that domestic violence incidents could spike across the city but go unreported as victims find it nearly impossible to escape their abusers. On Friday, the New York City Council will hold a digital hearing to glean some clarity on the situation, particularly about how the de Blasio

  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Council Member Helen Rosenthal on How the City Should Approach Its Massive Budget Gap

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    City Council Member Helen Rosenthal (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    April 29, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Member Helen Rosenthal on How the City Should Approach Its Massive Budget Gap

    City Council Member Helen Rosenthal joined the show to discuss how the city should approach its massive budget gap, offering several ideas for trying to keep city services intact amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Rosenthal, a former city budget official, also discussed contracting issues and, as

  • Resources: How New Yorkers Can Access Help with Food, Unemployment, Health Care, Domestic Violence, Small Businesses, & More

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    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    As the coronavirus outbreak causes more and more health, social, and economic damage, many New Yorkers need help. Below is a guide to some available resources (please let us know if there’s something we should add).

    For updates from New York City about the pandemic, you can text the word “COVID” to 692-692, or “COVIDESP” to 692-692 for the same notifications in Spanish. 

    Unemployment Insurance
    If you lost your job due to the coronavirus outbreak and its fallout,

  • Coronavirus Fallout Raises Concerns About Domestic Violence Increase, Survivor Services

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    City Hall lit up purple for domestic violence awareness (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    As New Yorkers shelter at home to avoid exposure to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has put the city largely at a standstill, concerns are growing among that victims of domestic violence may be particularly affected if they are unable to escape an abusive home.

    Time and again, studies have ...

  • Council Hearing Points to Problems with City's 'Batterer Intervention' Programs to Reduce Domestic Violence

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    Council Member Rosenthal (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    The New York City Council’s Committee on Women and Gender Equity and Committee on the Justice System held a joint hearing on Wednesday to examine the effectiveness of the city’s programs meant to reduce domestic violence by holding abusive partners accountable through treatment and rehabilitation. But representatives of the de Blasio administration could not provide metrics about how many programs there are currently in place across the city or how they are working. And even as the city is exploring new

  • Council Examines Gaps in City Shelter Services for Domestic Violence Survivors

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)

    Domestic violence continues to be a leading cause of homelessness in New York City and ahead of Domestic Violence Awareness month, the New York City Council sought to examine how Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has provided services to survivors of domestic violence who rely on the city’s shelter system. 

    Under state law, counties are required to provide shelter and services to domestic violence survivors. In New York City, that responsibility falls to the Human Resources Administration (HRA), which administers

  • Council Takes Stock of City's Efforts to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

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    Annual Gladys Ricard and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk/Brides' March (2016) (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    The City Council held an oversight hearing Monday to discuss an annual report on domestic violence in New York City, including city initiatives to help victims. The hearing featured testimony from Cecile Noel, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV), and advocacy groups.

    “As more survivors come forward to report abuse we must make sure the city is capturing

  • City Council Examines Effectiveness of Domestic Violence Courts

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    Council Member Lancman (photo: @NYCCouncil)

    The City Council’s Courts and Legal Services Committee held an oversight hearing on Monday dedicated to New York’s Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, a program designed to increase accountability and responsiveness to domestic violence victims in the legal system by combining the different courts one might interact with in a domestic violence dispute into a single court, with a single judge handling a couple’s or family’s multiple cases, including criminal, custody, and visitation cases.


  • As Incident Reports Rise, City Officials Seek New Answers to Combat Domestic Violence

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    De Blasio & others announce new measures (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Increases in reports of domestic violence have gotten the attention New York City officials, from Mayor Bill de Blasio to the NYPD to members of the City Council. The de Blasio administration has taken a series of steps to address the problem and is promising more; while new legislation is expected to soon pass in the City Council.

    On Monday, the Council’s Committee on Courts and Legal Services will hold an oversight hearing on

  • To Eradicate Sex Trafficking, Prosecute the Pimps and Buyers


    Lauren Hersh, the author (at podium), and other activists 

    Sarah was 13 years old when she was lured into prostitution by two men from her New York City neighborhood. For the next two years, she was sold to buyers who were eager to purchase her adolescent body. Her pimp required her to meet a quota and when she didn't, she was brutalized.

    There were many moments when Sarah tried to leave the life of prostitution. Each time, her exploiter would threaten to harm her or worse, her little sister. Sarah felt helpless and trapped. So, she stayed.

    Sarah was