Aiming to bring attention to the scourge of domestic violence, Borough President Melinda Katz — along with the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and the Queens District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau — will mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October with a Queens Resource Fair.
“A Healthy Families Resource Fair” — which is free to attend and open to the public — will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall at 120-55 Queens Blvd., in Kew Gardens.
The Healthy Families Resource Fair will provide a trove of vital information, courtesy of participating agencies and community organizations, as they galvanize New Yorkers to put an end to domestic violence in the city, Katz said.
“Statistically, millions of women and men across the country will endure some form of domestic abuse at the hands of an intimate partner this year, while hundreds more will lose their lives,” Katz said. “With Domestic Violence Awareness Month upon us, it is critical that we redouble our efforts to halt this horrific scourge in our society and eliminate the stigma that is too often attached to being a survivor of domestic violence.”
According to the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, the NYPD responded to more than 111,000 intimate-partner-related domestic incident reports in 2018, including 24,577 in Queens. Citywide, there were 30 reported intimate partner homicides in 2018, with six occurring in Queens.
“One in four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Domestic violence can be so easy for people to ignore, as it often happens without any witnesses and it is sometimes easier to not get involved,” said Cecile Noel, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. “Yet, by publicly speaking out against it, we can work together to challenge attitudes towards all forms of gender-based violence and show that they are crimes and unacceptable. There is too much at stake for future generations to remain silent.”
Nationally, one in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence or intimate partner stalking over the course of their lives, according to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence. A Northeastern University study published in April 2019 showed that 2,237 Americans — 1,527 of whom were women — were murdered by an intimate partner in 2017, a 19-percent increase over a four-year period.
“Far too often, victims of domestic violence think they are alone. They suffer in silence, live in fear and believe no one can help them. But they are far from alone. We are here and there are numerous agencies and programs available to help. No one should have to live with a partner or a family member who hurts them,” said John Ryan, acting Queens District Attorney. “The Healthy Family Resource Fair is an opportunity to connect with the residents of Queens County in an effort to one day end domestic violence.”
On hand at the Resource Fair will be representatives from city agencies and community groups such as the NYC Commission on Human Rights; the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; the Arab American Family Support Center; Garden of Hope; Jewish Association Serving the Aging; Legal Information for Families Today; Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Law Project; Sanctuary for Families; Violence Intervention Program Inc.; AIDS Center of Queens County; Korean American Family Support Center; the LGBT Network; Planned Parenthood and more.
The program will include a presentation by Kelly Sessoms-Newton, chief of the Queens District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau and remarks by Assistant Commissioner for Family Justice Centers and Outreach Jennifer DeCarli.
In front of Borough Hall, a Planned Parenthood mobile unit will offer free and confidential walk-in services, including health insurance enrollment and wellness exams.
Closing remarks from Assistant Commissioner for Family Justice Centers and Outreach Jennifer DeCarli, preceded by a dance performance, will conclude the event.
Anyone interested in attending the Resource Fair is asked to RSVP in advance, either by visiting www.queensbp.org/rsvp or by calling 718-286-2661.