On February 28, Urban Resource Institute (URI) Chief Development Officer Vicky Hernandez was featured on the 6 p.m. news on Univision 41 (Nueva York) with Berenice Gartner, to discuss URI’s work to help DV survivors escape coerced debt. URI co-authored Reinvesting in Economic Justice, Equity, and Solidarity for Survivors in New York City report in September 2022, detailing the many systemic barriers that survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and their families face in achieving safety and healing. One of the major obstacles identified was economic abuse; in fact, a full 98% of all survivors of domestic and gender-based violence report that they have experienced some level of economic abuse. Despite that, there are no laws in New York to protect against coerced debt. Learn more here.
Since then, URI has been advocating for passage of the city and state bill. And we are proud to report that as a result of our advocacy, the NYC Bill Int. 148 will be signed into law next Monday, March 6 – thanks to the incredible advocacy of Teal Inzunza, Director of URI Economic Empowerment Program, alongside Alyssa Alvarado, Financial Empowerment Specialist, URI Government Affairs’ Lauren Schuster and Wil Lopez, as well as partners across the city. This bill amends the definition of the term “victim of domestic violence” under the NYC Human Rights Law to recognize economic abuse/coerced debt as a form of domestic violence and extends existing protections for domestic violence victims to those who have experienced economic abuse/coerced debt. The Bill will be signed into law at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6 at City Hall.