Councilwoman Sandra Ung joined representatives from Garden of Hope outside the Flushing-Main Street subway station on Thursday, Oct. 20, to raise awareness about domestic violence.
October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The outreach was part of “NYC Go Purple Day,” a day of events across the city meant to spread awareness about domestic violence and share resources with survivors.
As an attorney who used to deal with domestic violence survivors, Ung said she knows how difficult it can be for a person to leave their abuser, often because they are financially dependent on them.
“In the Asian community, discussing domestic violence is often treated as a taboo subject, creating another barrier to getting help,” Ung said. “I’m here today with Garden of Hope to let people know that there are resources and organizations out there to help people escape their abusive situations.”
Garden of Hope serves people who have been exposed to domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, particularly in the Chinese community, through culturally competent and language appropriate services. Garden of Hope’s bilingual staff offers counseling, case management, shelter, legal assistance and children services, all free of charge.
Garden of Hope Executive Director Kristen Chi said the pandemic has caused a massive increase in domestic violence cases. Meanwhile, unemployment causes tension at home, leading to more child abuse cases.
In 2021, there were 260,084 domestic violence incidents filed by the NYPD, an average of 700 every day. There were also 93,735 calls to the city’s 24-hour Domestic Violence hotline at 800-621-HOPE, with 6,970 requests for shelter, according to Garden of Hope.
“We want people who are experiencing domestic violence to know that we are here to assist them,” Chi said. “Our helpline at 877-990-8595 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”