BY JOE MARVILLI
A Queens initiative to combat domestic violence recently received a nearly-million dollar grant.
On Oct. 28, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and Borough President Melinda Katz announced that the United States Dept. of Justice’s Violence Against Women Office is giving a $900,000 grant for their continued efforts to decrease domestic violence. The funds will assist work by both offices in prosecuting cases of domestic violence, lessening abuse and helping victims.
Arriving at the end of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the grant is a renewal of federal funding received since 1997. It will last through September 2017.
The federal money has led to a number of improvements in tackling domestic violence situations in the Borough. It helped to establish comprehensive services for victims at the Queens Family Justice Center, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, BP’s Office and DA’s Office. The funds have also assisted with early outreach to and protection of victims, immigration support and advocacy and outreach to Queens’ multi-lingual population.
According to Brown, the DA’s Domestic Violence Bureau is a national leader through its use of evidence-based prosecutions, which use medical evidence, 911 tapes, witness observations and more to convict abusers, rather than relying on the victim’s trial testimony.
“The results of those initiatives have been real and dramatic,” Brown said. “Under the grant, we will continue our efforts to stop domestic violence, hold offenders accountable, protect victims and offer appropriate programs and services to families in crisis.”
The BP’s task force on domestic violence, sexual assault, child maltreatment and elder abuse works to provide quality assistance to all those that need it. Its staff includes service providers, law enforcement and victim advocates.
“All of us who are a part of this initiative are committed to making Queens a place where no one has to live in fear of being abused by anyone they have a domestic relationship with,” Katz said. “This grant will go a long way toward sustaining and furthering our initiative to combat domestic violence in Queens County.”
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, email@example.com, or @JoeMarvilli.