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Domestic violence education campaign begins

            A recently launched citywide campaign will aim to educate members of the community about domestic violence and where they can go for help.

“This is a real issue in every community and the idea here…is by raising this awareness we’re looking to save lives,” Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Yolanda B. Jimenez said during a June 30 press conference at the Pay-O-Matic on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside. “We want to make sure people are safe in their homes.”

            The bilingual campaign, in English and Spanish, is called “Everyone Has a Right to a Healthy Relationship.” Information posters will be posted in community locations such as C-Town Supermarkets, CVS, Duane Reade, New York Community Bank, Northfield Bank, Pay-O-Matic and White Castle. In addition, palm cards letting victims know where to call to get help will also be placed in these locations.

            “Pay-O-Matic is proud to be able to contribute to the awareness campaign to make this disturbing and unfortunate phenomenon a thing of the past,” Pay-O-Matic president and CEO Richard Gaccione said.

            Pat Devlin, the president of Verizon Wireless, New York Metro Region, described the campaign as “a significant step in raising awareness” and said Verizon is proud to support it.

            City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras said that campaigns such as this help to get one step closer to putting an end to this problem.

            “Reducing domestic violence begins with each and every one of us recognizing what an unhealthy relationship is and knowing where to get help,” Jimenez said. “By partnering with local businesses we are making sure that this message is delivered to every neighborhood in New York City. We are asking all small businesses to join in this effort to help save lives.”

            The city’s Family Justice Center of Queens, located at 126-02 82nd Avenue at Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens, is a walk-in center that provides free services to domestic violence victims, as well as their children.

            The New York City Domestic Violence Hotline, which operates 24 hours a day, is 1-800-621-HOPE (4673). Information is also available through 3-1-1 and www.nyc.gov/domesticviolence.

            In emergency situations, victims can call 9-1-1.

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