Attorney General Letitia James, along with state and local officials and advocates, today reminded victims of domestic violence that they are not alone and that help remains available around-the-clock. On average, more than 10 million individuals per year are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. While social isolation is necessary amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it may aggravate what is already a widespread problem.
“With the pandemic forcing society to stay primarily in their homes, it is understandable that victims of domestic violence are feeling particularly vulnerable at this time,” said Attorney General James. “As we take extraordinary steps to confront the threat to public health posed by this global pandemic, we must not lose sight of the very real potential for an increase in intimate partner abuse. I encourage those who experience domestic violence to reach out to relevant resources for help and guidance during these difficult times.”
“Domestic violence often escalates during and after a disaster,” said Connie Neal, Executive Director of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Because survivors of domestic violence are often already isolated, with limited access to financial resources and social networks, it can feel even more challenging to find and receive the support they need. But help is available through a network of domestic violence advocacy services across the state of New York. Advocates can provide confidential assistance with safety planning, emotional support, shelter, and referrals for a range of other community services. We appreciate Attorney General James’ commitment to disseminating information on domestic violence resources during this time.”
“During this time of prolonged home isolation, victims of domestic violence are at a heightened risk of suffering abuse if they are confined with their abusers,” said Orange County District Attorney and President of District Attorneys Association of the State of New York David M. Hoovler. “It is important that this vulnerable population understands that resources remain available around the clock to help provide assistance. Domestic violence victims do not have to suffer alone. If you believe you are a victim of domestic violence, I urge you to reach out and utilize resources that continue to be available.”
“We know in these times of uncertainty and sensitivity, feelings of isolation give us reasons to be concerned about intimate partner violence,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. “While social distancing can make us feel apart, the Bronx DA Office is here for you as a resource. Anyone who needs supportive services for violence or abuse within their home, please know that you can contact the Crime Victims Assistance Unit at 718-590-2115. We are here for anyone who is interested in services. You can leave a message, which is checked hourly, and an advocate will respond.”
“These are challenging times for everyone, especially those who must stay home with an abusive partner,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “But even during this health crisis, you don’t have to suffer in silence. My office and our partners still offer a wide array of supportive services for those experiencing violence in their home. We are here to help. I remind individuals who have a pending domestic violence case in Brooklyn that his Domestic Violence Bureau remains available at 718-250-3300 and that individuals can request an order of protection by calling 646-386-5299. In addition, those in need of assistance can also call the Brooklyn Family Justice Center at 718-250-5113 and leave a message.”
“If you are quarantined in an abusive home in Manhattan, help is available now,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. “The Manhattan District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Hotline is open at 212-335-4308. Our Witness Aid Services Unit is working diligently to provide victims with remote access to critical support programs, including safety planning and counseling. We urge anyone in need to contact us. In an emergency, call 911.”
“The stress of the current situation is difficult,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “Particularly now, while we are all staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19, we must feel safe in our homes and communities. No one should face further risk or danger due to domestic violence. We remain vigilant in our mission to protect victims, especially during these trying times. We are here to connect those in need with safety planning measures and all the other resources available. Please, if you need help do not hesitate to reach out to the contacts listed below.”
“During these uncertain times, we want victims of domestic abuse to know that my office is here for you and we will continue to vigorously prosecute domestic-violence cases so victims can obtain necessary orders of protection and access needed services,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “From the outset, my office’s Domestic Violence Bureau and our Victim Advocates have been in contact with victims to reassure them and offer any additional assistance they might require. I encourage anyone in need to reach out to us directly or contact one of the following resources for more help. We will not let this current health crisis deter us from our mission to protect victims of domestic violence and hold their abusers accountable.”
Domestic violence impacts individuals of all races, ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, genders, and occurs in every community across New York. There are programs available to those experiencing intimate partner abuse in counties across the state, in addition to 24-hour national and state hotlines standing by to provide assistance.
The following is a list of resources for anyone experiencing intimate partner abuse:
- Anyone whose life is in immediate danger should call 911.
- The National Domestic Violence 24-hour hotline is: 1-800-799-7233, or for TTY: 1-800-787-3224.
- The New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-hour hotline is: 1-800-942-6906, or for the deaf or hard of hearing: 711.
- The 24-hour hotline for Safe Horizon, a non-profit serving individuals in New York City is: 1-800-621-4673.
- The 24-hour live-operated bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline for the Violence Intervention Program is: 1-800-664-5580.
- The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides a directory of available programs by county: NYSCADV.org/find-help/program-directory.html.