Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is hosting a public workshop Wednesday, Oct. 19, with state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar at Queens Public Library’s Ozone Park Branch located at 92-24 Rockaway Boulevard.
The event, held in October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will also be livestreamed on Katz’s Facebook page.
Their hope is to invite residents to the free workshop who may be dealing with domestic violence situations and inform them of the signs of domestic violence, the different types of domestic violence and the resources available to victims.
“My office works every day to investigate and prosecute cases of intimate partner violence because no one deserves to suffer the trauma of domestic abuse,” Katz said. “Too often, victims are made to feel alone and isolated in their pain but we will continue to partner with public officials, community leaders and service providers to make sure that available resources reach those who truly need them.”
According to data from CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact with sexual violence, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, and reported at least one impact of the violence.
“Victims of domestic violence are often made to feel by their abuser like they deserve the treatment they are receiving and that there is no one that can help them. Nothing is further from the truth,” Addabbo said. “There are many outreach groups and resources for victims of domestic violence, and we hope to get that information out to the public with this free workshop.”
The workshop comes just over two months after members of the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean community in South Queens gathered at a vigil to honor the life of Mandeep Kaur, a 30-year-old Sikh woman from Richmond Hill who took her own life after suffering years of alleged domestic violence by her husband.
“In 2021, New York City’s Domestic Violence Hotline received over 93,000 calls, which has increased by 15% during the pandemic. We must answer every one of these calls for help, and do all that we can to bring the number of calls down to zero,” Rajkumar said. “My workshop with District Attorney Katz and Senator Addabbo will educate the people of South Queens on the resources available to help domestic violence survivors. Our goal is to ensure that no one is isolated and alone in an abusive situation. Together, we can empower domestic violence survivors to break free from the cycle of violence.”
Rajkumar is also partnering with the mayor’s office to end domestic and gender-based violence for a media roundtable and discuss the unique challenges of addressing domestic violence in the South Asian diaspora. The event will be held at the Queens Family Justice Center, located at 126-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 10:30 a.m.
“I have zero tolerance for domestic violence in my district or in my city. I am proud to spearhead culturally responsive initiatives aimed at addressing domestic violence in the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities,” Rajkumar said. “When I saw my sister Mandeep Kaur describing her ordeal, her pain was my pain, and I will honor her memory by fighting to ensure that domestic violence survivors have the help they need to escape the cycle of violence.”
For those who can’t attend either meeting, Katz still wants to provide some useful information.
“At the very beginning of my administration, I created a domestic violence helpline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said. “Anyone who needs help can call 718-286-4410 to obtain crucial services and help reclaim their life.”