New York Justice Center Fights Against Domestic Violence

by Chris Meigher

Combating domestic violence is a tricky business. Mayor Bloomberg has managed it splendidly, first with his efforts to keep New York the safest big city in the nation and later with his commitments to raise money for organizations aimed to help victims of violence. Now, the Mayor’s Office is taking another big step: building a new Manhattan Center that will bring together a number of community-based service providers and a wide range of city agencies to mitigate family violence.

On October 24, Mayor Bloomberg, Manhattan District Attorney Vance, Speaker Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Stringer, Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs Carol Robles-Roman and Domestic Violence Commissioner Jimenez announced the start of construction for the fourth New York City Family Justice Center expected to open in 2013. The Manhattan Center will provide across-the-board multilingual services to victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as elder abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and child abuse victims. The new Justice Center will also allow victims to meet with a prosecutor and receive legal advice.

“A key part of our success has been building our network of Family Justice Centers, which have been critical in helping victims reclaim their lives and preventing further violence,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a press conference. As a result of the City’s focus on domestic violence, family related crimes have declined by 16 percent citywide since 2001.

The new location will be in lower Manhattan at 80 Center Street, adjacent to various court buildings, including Criminal, Family, and Supreme courts. “We want all victims to know that they are not alone and that help is available,” said Commissioner Jimenez of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. “For the thousands of domestic violence this center will be a safe place where they may begin their path to safety and financial independence.”

The creation of the New York City Family Justice Center in Manhattan will expand on the services already provided to the victims of domestic violence at centers in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and through the Staten Island Domestic Violence Response Team. Since, 2005 the centers have helped over 79,000 clients and more than 16,000 children have visited the children’s rooms.

For help from the Family Justice Center near you or to support the Family Justice Center Initiative visit www.nyc.gov or call 311.