Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, along with representatives of the New York City Department of Probation and Safe Horizon, will announce new and enhanced domestic violence services in the Bronx with a new grant from the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
The Bronx Borough President’s Office has partnered and sub-contracted with the Bronx DA’s Office, NYC DOP, NYPD, and Safe Horizon to receive the “Grant to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program” from the US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
This funding has arrived in conjunction with New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence’s “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign, which takes place every October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The grant is for $999,092.
“With the influx of federal dollars, the Bronx will be able to replace domestic violence officers in the precincts with the highest reported incidents of domestic violence, publish readily available information for officers to properly handle domestic incident reports and continue to organize public awareness events and campaigns. With our city’s budget shrinking, I am proud to be able to attract funding to supplement the cuts in services for victims of domestic violence,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“The funds provided by the US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women will enable us to provide a coordinated, community response to victims of domestic violence in Bronx County from the earliest point in the case through sentencing. The project will help victims manage their risk by providing client-centered and comprehensive services from the time of the first incident reported to the police. Offenders will be held accountable for their actions through the enforcement of the mandatory arrest policy and referrals in appropriate cases, to the ‘Bronx Probation Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Program’ for enhanced supervision. Additionally, communication among the proposed project’s partners, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the NYC Department of Probation, the NYPD, and Safe Horizon will enhance case investigation, prosecution and sentencing,” said Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson.
This grant is not the first effort of the Office of the Bronx Borough President to spread awareness about domestic violence. On September 26, the Office participated in the 11th Annual Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk, or “Brides’ March.” The March to spread knowledge of the horrors of domestic violence takes place every year in memory of Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman from Washington Heights who was murdered on September 26, 1999, by an abusive ex-boyfriend on her wedding day.
More recently, the Bronx Borough President’s Office worked with Pregones Theatre and News 12 The Bronx to premier a play dedicated to the LGTBQ youth who experience violence from their parents and peers as they strive to be accepted. The office has also taped its ninth annual “Bronx DiVA Talk,” which includes information on the “fair access” bill of 2009 which broadened the definition of “family” and thereby expanded the class eligible for temporary orders of protection in family court.
This year’s million dollar grant will mark the Office of the Bronx Borough President’s fourth effort this year to end domestic violence in the region. Since 2002, the Office of the Bronx Borough President and its partners have received a total of nearly $4 million in funding for enhancing the services to victims of domestic violence. Overall, the funding and the programs it provides for will help domestic violence victims manage their risk, and will help to continue to hold offenders accountable for their actions.
The funding will also allow the continuation of the Bronx Domestic Violence Advisory Council, and will go towards planning more events in order to promote community response to domestic violence. With this grant, the Bronx Borough President’s Office and its partners will “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” in the Bronx, providing a brighter future free from domestic violence.