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Mayor Adams Signs Bills Providing Support for Survivors of Domestic and Gender-Based Violence

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Nov 23, 2022 - 07:43 AM

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed two bills to provide support for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence in New York City. Intro. 153-A amends New York City’s administrative code by establishing a housing stability program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. Intro. 154-A amends New York City’s administrative code by requiring the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) to create an online services portal and guide.

“Everyone deserves to be safe in their relationships and live a life free of domestic and gender-based violence,” said Mayor Adams. “This is a public safety issue that impacts us all. Domestic and gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere in our city, and we have a sacred duty to protect these survivors. By signing these two bills into law, we are continuing to protect those at risk and ensuring they have a chance to thrive. Together, we can end domestic and gender-based violence and build a city where everyone is safe in their homes and in their communities.”

“Today’s bill signing affirms our city’s commitment to supporting survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and ensuring they have access to the resources they need to heal and thrive,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “I look forward to working with ENDGBV and our partner agencies to implement this program and help keep our survivors in safe, stable housing.”

“We applaud Mayor Adams and the New York City Council for passing and enacting Councilmember Cabán’s ‘Support Survivors’ legislative package,” said ENDGBV Commissioner Cecile Noel. “This legislation ensures that survivors of domestic and gender-based violence have access to the resources they need to find safety, stability, and healing. In addition to spreading awareness about city and community-based services for survivors, this legislation also addresses a critical need for survivors: low-barrier, flexible funding to support the housing and safety-related needs of survivors. Domestic and gender-based violence are leading causes of homelessness in our city and across the nation, and we are proud to partner with our sister agencies and the City Council to combat this issue and to help strengthen crucial survivor supports.”

Intro. 153-A — sponsored by New York City Councilmember Tiffany Cabán — would require ENDGBV, in consultation with the New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) and community-based organizations, to establish a program to provide survivors of domestic and gender-based violence with a low-barrier grant and supportive services that would help survivors with expenses related to maintaining housing. The bill would require ENDGBV to report on the program on an annual basis. The legislation also updates the definitions section used in this section of the code.

Intro. 154-A — also sponsored by Councilmember Cabán — would require ENDGBV to establish an online portal and a written resource guide of available services for survivors of domestic or gender-based violence in New York City. The portal and guide would be aligned with ENDGBV’s NYCHope and be available in the designated citywide languages. The guide would also be available in Braille. The portal would include a clear and conspicuous link to any other relevant city-run websites and portals that provide information on survivor services located within the city and a description of the types of such resources. Finally, the bill would require ENDGBV to conduct outreach on the portal and guide and to ensure the portal is secure and confidential to protect the privacy of survivors.

Today’s bill signings for survivors help usher in the city’s annual ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign,’ which kicks off later this week. The campaign starts on November 25 (International Day to End Violence Against Women) and ends on December 10 (Human Rights Day) — encouraging New Yorkers to learn more about the consequences of gender-based violence and urging government, community, corporate, and philanthropic sectors to take concrete and impactful actions to eliminate gender-based violence. New Yorkers can learn more, join the campaign, or help share the resources and services available to survivors throughout New York City by visiting the 16 Days website.

“I applaud Mayor Adams for signing Intro. 153-A and Intro. 154-A, and I thank Councilmember Caban for her strong advocacy on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, chair, New York State Senate Social Services Committee. “Together, these new local laws will help survivors navigate often-complex systems and provide resources to facilitate a transition to safe and permanent housing.”

“Each incident of domestic and gender-based violence violates an individual’s rights and significantly impacts a survivor’s safety, health, and quality of life,” said New York State Senator Robert Jackson. “Safety requires economic security, which survivors find difficult to obtain because they need to navigate social and economic barriers to safety due to many inequities that are lived realities. I commend the city for taking the necessary steps with policies that will provide the support survivors of domestic and gender-based violence need to get safe and heal.”

“I’m proud of the city’s continued efforts to center the needs of survivors and ensure that all New Yorkers have access to vital information and resources about domestic and gender-based violence,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “Securing and maintaining housing is one of the biggest barriers survivors face in finding safety and freedom from abuse, and I applaud Mayor Adams and Councilmember Caban for creating a new way to make that possible.”

“Survivors of gender-based violence often face an urgent need for safe and stable housing, and other critical services, as they leave the homes where they have suffered abuse, and I commend the mayor and City Council for this important legislation that will help victims begin to rebuild their lives with the support they need,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Members of my newly established Gender-Based Violence Division stand ready to help victims utilize the essential resources that these new laws will make available.”

“Survivors of domestic violence and their families are some of our city’s most vulnerable residents, and too often, these brave New Yorkers remain in dangerous circumstances because the path out is unclear, daunting, expensive, and scary,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon. “Simplifying and improving awareness and availability of resources for this population, particularly those pertaining to housing, is a laudable mission, and I look forward to the addition of these tools to the wide array of help available to Staten Islanders and all New Yorkers suffering from domestic violence.”

“Housing security is foundational to the often-long journey of recovering from and rebuilding after domestic and gender-based violence,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I’m grateful that Councilmember Cabán is leading the effort to equip survivors with resources that may offer some solace and stability during an incredibly difficult time. Thank you to Mayor Adams for recognizing the urgency of these bills by advancing the housing support and supportive services that will uplift survivors across our city.”

“The Council has been laser-focused on expanding support for crime victims, who too often are underserved despite being frequently referenced in public safety debates,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Supporting survivors of domestic and gender-based violence requires thoughtful consideration of their most urgent needs and the best ways to meet them. The ‘Support Survivors’ legislative package enacts solutions that will provide critical resources to promote health, safety, and stability and make available services easier to find and navigate. I thank Councilmember Caban for her advocacy and leadership and all of our Council colleagues who supported this legislation that will help survivors access the recovery they need.”

“When I first became chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity, I shared that my focus this term would be on shifting resources and power away from patriarchal systems of violence and punishment and toward the compassionate, life-giving systems which we have sidelined and devalued for too long,” said New York City Councilmember Tiffany Cabán. “I am very proud to be delivering on that promise with the two bills the mayor is signing today. These two laws will save lives. The online portal and written resource guide, available in all major languages and in Braille, will make it much more likely that survivors will know about, and take advantage of, the great life-saving programs already available in our city. And the low-barrier urgently accessible grant program will directly address one of the most significant barriers survivors face in leaving dangerous situations: economic precarity. I look forward to working with the mayor to fully fund and thoughtfully implement these laws and can’t wait to celebrate many survivor success stories together.”

“Domestic violence survivors need and deserve our support,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “As a veteran of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, I know how crucial it is that survivors have access to safe housing and supportive services. I thank my colleague Councilmember Cabán for advancing this important legislation, and I am grateful to the mayor for his support of the city’s survivors.”

“Domestic violence is an epidemic for Black and Brown women across New York City, and especially in the Bronx,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “As the co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, our members are dedicated to supporting and protecting those who identify as women. The two bills signed today are proactive, protective, and inclusive — congratulations to my colleague and caucus member Councilmember Tiffany Caban. Thank you, Mayor Eric Adams, for being an ally to the women-majority Council and seeing the urgency to protect survivors of domestic and gender-based violence.”

“I am proud to have signed onto these two bills, which will provide much-needed support to domestic violence and gender-based violence survivors,” said New York City Councilmember James F. Gennaro. “It is crucial that we expand the accessibility of domestic violence services, especially since the pandemic made it more difficult for many women to escape their abusers. I applaud Councilmember Caban for sponsoring these bills, my colleagues for passing the legislation, and Mayor Eric Adams for signing them into law.”

“Too many victims of domestic violence are trapped in unsafe situations because they cannot access affordable housing,” said New York City Councilmember Shahana Hanif. “With Mayor Adams signing Intro 153-A into law, our city can take proactive measures to support survivors. As a proud cosponsor of this legislation, I’m thrilled to see our city create a new fund dedicated to providing grants and essential resources to ensure domestic violence survivors can find safe and stable housing. With this support, we can help thousands of people leave abusive situations and create a more caring, and safer, city for everyone.”

“Domestic and gender-based violence are major issues in all corners of our city, but far too often, the dual crises are not addressed with the attention that it deserves because of long-standing stigmas,” said New York City Councilmember Rita Joseph. “I applaud Councilmember Tiffany Cabán, Speaker Adrienne Adams, and Mayor Eric Adams for their leadership in passing these incredibly important bills, and I look forward to continuing the fight against domestic and gender-based violence until they get eradicated from our city.”

“As an attorney who worked with domestic violence survivors, many of them immigrant women, I spoke with countless survivors who were forced to stay in their abusive situations because they had nowhere else to go and because they were unable to access the help they needed in their own language,” said New York City Councilmember Sandra Ung. “These two bills will provide those brave survivors with the assistance they need to maintain their housing and culturally competent services to support them as they build their new lives, eliminating two of the hurdles they faced to leaving their former lives in the first place. I want to thank Councilmember Tiffany Cabán for introducing these two important pieces of legislation and Mayor Eric Adams for signing them into law.”

“Domestic and gender-based violence survivors are one too many, and we must work together to ensure those impacted by acts of violence have access to the necessary resources to heal and rebuild,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez. “No one should ever have to be concerned with the financial burden of maintaining housing for their families, nor should anyone find themselves struggling to identify resources that fit their unique needs. I am proud of the strides this Council has made, and I will continue to support survivors as they rise against the odds.”

“Safe and affordable housing is a pathway to freedom for many survivors of domestic violence,” said Rawaa Nancy Albilal, president and CEO, Arab-American Family Support Center. “The Arab-American Family Support Center is a member of a collective, made up of six agencies, aiming to improve policies, implement promising practices, and address the intersections of gender, economic, immigrant, and social justice. The passing of these two bills are steps in the right direction for survivors and their children to achieve transformative justice and freedom. Thank you Councilmember Tiffany Cabán and all New York City Council members for making these bills possible. Thank you, Mayor Adams, for signing these bills into law.”

“We are thrilled to see this long-awaited action on behalf of individuals experiencing domestic violence,” said Christopher Bromson, executive director, Crime Victims Treatment Center. “We applaud the Council and ENDGBV for their effort to reduce the overwhelming barriers to sustainable housing faced by so many survivors and for initiating the creation of a much-needed resource guide so that New Yorkers can access the support they deserve.”

“HELP USA/HELP R.O.A.D.S believes everyone deserves a safe affordable place to live,” said Hayley Carrington-Walton, executive director, HELP R.O.A.D.S. “We are working closely with the community establishing gender-based violence supportive services for those in critical need; these bills help us to make progress with survivors through accessible and inclusive housing stability support and internet outreach. We would like to thank the New York City Council for passing this important legislation and Mayor Adams for signing these bills into law.”

“New York’s housing affordability crisis is forcing thousands of survivors into making an impossible choice — remain tethered to your abuser or risk losing the roof over your head,” said the Honorable Judy Harris Kluger, executive director, Sanctuary for Families. “This has inevitably led to domestic violence becoming the single largest cause of homelessness for New Yorkers entering the shelter system. The City Council’s move to establish a program aimed at helping survivors access and maintain housing could not be more timely. This program and the forthcoming ENDGBV online services portal and resource guide will go a long way in helping New Yorkers move from fear and abuse to safety and stability. We applaud Councilmember Tiffany Cabán for her leadership, the New York City Council for passing these crucial bills, and Mayor Eric Adams for signing them into law.”

“Providing low-barrier grants to survivors of domestic violence will help put them on firm financial footing in their journey to safety and resiliency,” said Nathaniel M. Fields, CEO, Urban Resource Institute (URI). “Along with legislation to create a searchable online database of supportive services for survivors of domestic violence and their families, this bill package will have a direct, measurable impact on survivors’ ability to rebuild their lives. URI is grateful to Councilmember Tiffany Cabán for sponsoring these bills and Mayor Adams for seeing their importance and signing them into law. ENDGBV and agencies like URI are committed to breaking the many barriers to safety and healing, including economic abuse, which occurs in 98 percent of domestic violence cases and often destroys the financial well-being of survivors. As the largest provider of domestic violence residential services in the country, URI looks forward to the impact these bills will bring in helping transform the lives of domestic violence survivors.”

“Healing from domestic and gender-based violence is only possible when you have a safe place to call home,” said Margarita Guzmán, executive director, Violence Intervention Program, Inc. “Violence Intervention Program works with low-income Black and Latinx survivors who face myriad barriers to affordable housing. We applaud Councilmember Cabán for prioritizing the needs of those who are often pushed to the margins of service priorities and look forward to partnering with her, ENDGBV, and other nonprofits to ensure the program’s success.”

“Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest nonprofit victim services organization, is grateful to Councilmember Cabán and the New York City Council for passing Intro. 153-A and Intro. 154-A and to Mayor Eric Adams for signing these bills into law — and implementing them,” said Liz Roberts, CEO, Safe Horizon. “We know all too well that economic stability and independence are foundational to safety. Too many survivors don’t have the choice to leave their abusive partner, even if they want to, for economic reasons. Often, the survivors that come to our programs for help need small amounts of money for immediate needs. These small expenses are frequently the one thing standing in the way of safety. Intro. 153-A will establish a program to provide survivors of domestic and gender-based violence with low-barrier grants and supportive services so they can maintain housing and navigate their path to safety. Intro. 154-A will establish an accessible portal and guide so survivors can find the services and supports available to them across our great city.”

Source: The Official Website of the City of New York

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