COVID-19, confinement and social isolation triggered a thunderous alarm in New York City: many more victims of domestic or gender aggressors, they were more exposed in a climate of economic crisis, unemployment and tension due to the confinement that the pandemic implies. This October when Domestic Violence Awareness Month is commemorated it shows that The experts’ calculations were not wrong.
At the height of mandatory quarantine due to the public health crisis in the Big Apple, domestic violence in all five boroughs took on gigantic dimensions.
Although the complaints in the different police stations in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) did not increase significantly, compared to 2019, there was an increase in deaths in the midst of situations related to family and partner conflicts.
If the magnifying glass is placed on the city’s public housing complexes (NYCHA), in the first six months of 2019, 7,362 calls were generated to police stations for cases of domestic abuse, while this year marked by COVID-19 6,998 were reported in the same period.
But there is a painful difference. The number of fatalities in 2020, it was doubled in these localities by 100%.
But not only the police figures that point to a 33% increase in deaths, compared to last year, they describe this scourge.
Other indicators persist. Organizations like Sanctuary for Families (SFF), which like dozens of coalitions serve survivors of family violence, have reported that requests for aid between April, May and June soared by up to 300%.
SFF Legal Center Director, Dorchen Leidholdt, he reasoned before local media that “the pandemic gave abusers a powerful control tool because their victims were much closer to them, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in many cases. And the confinement made it even more difficult for him to find sources of support and assistance ”.
Officially, the police stations 43, 44 and 48 from The Bronx, plus 67 (Flatbush) and 75 (East New York) in Brooklyn It is where the Uniformada has received the most complaints of domestic violence throughout the city.
“I found out I was living with a monster”
Confinement, in the opinion of experts, led people who never experienced violence to experience mistreatment for the first time and those who were regularly targeted, to live more continuous and intense attacks.
This trend is illustrated by case of Adriana Gómez, a 45-year-old Venezuelan immigrant, a resident of Queens, who after five years of living with his Dominican partner, narrated to The newspaper that in the middle of the pandemic he discovered “a person he did not know.”
“When things started to get complicated because he lost his job, he first got in a bad mood, because he had to be locked up. His mother sadly died of COVID-19 in May. That put him on the ground. I started getting verbal attacks for the first time. I forgave him because I understood that he was very depressed ”, shares Adriana, who works as a radiotherapy assistant at a hospital in Manhattan.
Adriana when observing that the “kind and cheerful” person she met was turning into “a monster” decided to demand that he leave the house because the rental agreement was only in his name.
“Many women depend on their partners. It was not my case. When observing that this situation had turned him into a jerk, after four months of confinement, I demanded that he leave one Sunday. I could no longer resist having him around ”.
The requirement of the immigrant with 15 years residing in the Big Apple became a real “time bomb”.
“I was taking a shower. He broke in and hit me against the wall telling me he was leaving, but he was going to give me a ‘goodbye’. As I could, I defended myself and called the police. The entire judicial process has been very slow due to the closing of the courts. I did not hesitate to report. I don’t depend on him at all. But I know that this is not the case for the majority who depend economically on their partner ”, explained the South American.
NYC wears purple
This month when global lights are turned on for those in the shadows of this scourge seeking help, the Mayor’s Office against the end of Domestic and Gender Violence (ENDGBV) in the midst of the pandemic has a greater challenge: although many people stay home to stay safe from the virus, many victims may be with their abusers experiencing more social isolation than before.
In a report shared by ENDGBV called “Restorative approach to violent couples” a considerable increase in victimization rates in New York communities is confirmed. And it is confirmed that the “national surveys of survivors show that the majority of the injured, they neither call the police, nor seek judicial intervention ”.
This Thursday, amid the certainty that there is a greater risk for the silent victims of domestic and gender violence, several institutions invite the community to learn about the resources that the Big Apple has against this scourge, in addition to participating in a series of initiatives to Show solidarity with the survivors by wearing purple.
In addition, multiple public and private buildings throughout the city will show their support. by lighting their places in purple, such is the case with Yankee Stadium, The Arsenal in Central Park, the Mayor’s Office in Lower Manhattan, the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, the Court Building in The Bronx, and Queens Borough Hall.
Events to raise awareness
- Thursday October 22 at 6 PM
Virtual Conference: “The abuse facilitated by technology.” Co-sponsored by ENDGBV, CA Goldberg PLLC, Sanctuary of Families, the New York Cyber Sexual Abuse Task Force, and Day One will address topics such as the effects of technology-facilitated abuse on young people and justice for survivors of through law and other resources.
Virtual Event: “Hope in faith”. It is organized by ENDGBV, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and the Center for Community Faith and Alliance. Testimonies will be offered to inspire religious leaders and the community to speak out about all forms of domestic and gender-based violence.
Brooklyn Survivor Town Hall, where ENDGBV and local community organizations will host a virtual town hall to hear directly from survivors about their experiences and needs (before and during COVID-19).
- October 29 at 10:30 pm
The virtual panel will be held: “You are not alone: a night with survivors’ voices”: organized by the ENDGBV Survivor-led VOCES Committee and the Brooklyn Public Library, for survivors to discuss domestic and gender-based issues. on violence and the resources available in New York City.
Victim of domestic violence? Report!
- Victims of violence can visit the site nyc.gov/NYCHOPE for all the resources and information available in New York City. Or call 1-800-6214673
- Learn about all the resources and special activities of ENDGBV that can help you navigate to the help you need through the website of ENDGBV.gov
- Also survivors can call NYC Well (1-888-692-9355) for help with anxiety. They can also call 911 for emergencies.
- Victims can send a message to 844-997-2121 or chat with a professional on the website http://www.opdv.ny.gov 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the State support program
- The Family Justice Centers serve victims by phone, Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm (Brooklyn: 718-250-5113); (Bronx: 718-508-1220); (Manhattan: 1-212-602-2800); (Queens: 718-575-4545); (Staten Island: 718-697-4300)
- You can report a threat or situation of violence by contacting your nearest NYPD detachment by calling 311.
More deaths than in all of 2019
- 30% increased cases of domestic violence on average according to the crossing of data from various organizations and public entities during the most rigid months of the quarantine in New York City.
- 35% decreased reports to NYPD in the Big Apple during the months of mandatory confinement, compared to the same period in 2019, so it is presumed that the majority of abuses were not reported.
- 18 deaths associated with domestic and intra-family conflicts so far in 2020 in NYC.
- 12 deaths were recorded in all of 2019.
- 6 murders linked to domestic violence have been registered in NYCHA public housing complexes so far this year versus 3 cases in 2019.
- 7,362 complaints of domestic or gender-based assaults, from January to June of last year in NYCHA complexes, in contrast to 6,998 complaints in 2020 in the same period of time, NYPD statistics reveal.
- 43 is the number for the NYPD Police Station covering the areas of Westchester, Castle Hill, White Plains Road and Parkchester Avenues in The bronx where more complaints of domestic violence have been registered so far this year.