By Alex Robinson

A few weeks after murder suicides claimed five lives in downtown Flushing, hundreds of purple-wearing marchers weaved through the neighborhood’s streets to take a stand against domestic violence.

The Korean American Family Service Center organized the annual demonstration, which took place last Friday, for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Two separate murder suicides rocked Flushing’s Asian community in two days in early September. A man shot and killed his girlfriend in broad daylight before taking his own life in downtown Flushing on the afternoon of Sept. 8, according to the NYPD. Early the following morning, police found the burned remains of a father who had slit the throats of his wife and son before cutting his own wrists and setting their Roosevelt Avenue apartment on fire.

A number of community leaders and elected officials marched in the demonstration to join the fight against domestic abuse.

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) announced last week that she helped secure $300,000 in federal funds for KAFSC and the Garden of Good Hope, another Flushing-based group that provides services to victims of domestic violence.

“These critical funds will significantly help these two organizations continue the great work they do to help victims of domestic violence,” Meng said. “It is critical that groups like these have the resources they need, and I am pleased to help bring these federal dollars back here to Queens.”

KAFSC, which recently marked its 25th anniversary, helps low-income victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Korean and Asian immigrant community. The organization provides domestic violence counseling as well as a scholarship program for struggling mothers. It also offers a number of different educational programs for adults, children and youth seeking refuge from violence and helps victims get back on their feet.

“This timely funding will enable us to outreach to local businesses such as nail and beauty salons and continue providing a directly accessible, culturally familiar, safe haven of support and resources towards healing and self-sufficiency,” said KAFSC Executive Director Jungsook “Grace” Yoon.

The organization, which has a bilingual 24/7 hotline at 718-460-3800, said it served 1,800 individuals in fiscal year 2013.

KAFSC, which is based in Flushing, recently merged with another Korean organization called the Women In Need Center, which has served as an emergency shelter for battered women and children for 21 years.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobi‌[email protected]‌cnglo‌cal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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