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URBAN RESOURCE INSTITUTE TAKES A STAND: New York City Must Act Now to End Intimate Partner Violence

 The 2023 report from the New York City Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee is a stark wake-up call. Intimate partner violence (IPV) has surged by a harrowing 29% between 2021 and 2022, marking the second-largest increase in a decade. This crisis demands our immediate attention, and we cannot afford to remain silent any longer.

New York City is being heralded as the safest big city globally, but this is not the reality for those living through the horrors of intimate partner violence.

At Urban Resource Institute (URI), we believe that we can reduce IPV homicides by coupling continuing investment in safe and stable temporary and permanent housing for survivors and their families with additional resources for workforce development and economic empowerment services for survivors and their families, as well as community-based youth violence prevention programs and programs that engage people who have caused harm in the solutions to end that harm.

The shocking 29% increase in intimate partner fatalities between 2021 and 2022 is not a mere statistic. It is a devastating reality that we must confront together. Despite progress in reducing other forms of homicides, intimate partner homicides persist, escalating by a jaw-dropping 225% in Brooklyn alone and 57% in the Bronx during the same period.

This surge in intimate partner homicides continues to disproportionately impact Black and Hispanic women from marginalized communities and requires solutions that are tailored to meet the needs of these often-overlooked populations. The statistics speak volumes: Black women, constituting only 21% of the city’s population, account for a staggering 41% of intimate partner homicides. Similarly, Hispanic women, comprising 28% of the population, account for 36% of these tragedies.

Safety is non-negotiable, regardless of race, socio-economic status or gender identity. New York must implement a targeted and ongoing public education and awareness campaign with a focus on communities of color, designed to empower community members to identify the signs of abuse and where they can go to get help. The campaign should also include messaging that will reach people who have caused harm, so they know where they can access trauma-informed accountability programming.

Because New York City’s reporting of intimate partner violence breaks down intimate partner violence homicides along an outdated gender binary, a true understanding of the impacts of IPV on members of the LGBTQIA+ community is impossible. Intimate partner violence does not discriminate, and neither should our reporting on or response to it.

The Solution is clear: when cities invest strategically in crime reduction and prevention, focusing on family- and community-based strategies, we see real reductions in violent crime. URI is unwavering in its commitment to ending the cycles that fuel intimate partner violence and homelessness. We call upon New York City to prioritize investments in youth violence prevention, programs to engage those who have caused harm, and holistic community solutions to end domestic violence.

We have the tools, the knowledge, and the will to put an end to domestic violence and homelessness. There are no excuses left for an increase in domestic violence homicides when we possess the means to eradicate this crisis. Download Blueprint for Change: Ending Cycles of Gender-Based Violence & Homelessness, designed with actionable steps for policymakers to end cycles that fuel domestic violence and homelessness.

With over 40 years of dedication, Urban Resource Institute stands at the intersection of poverty and racism, tirelessly working to break the cycles of gender-based violence and homelessness. We provide shelter to over 2,900 individuals nightly and offer trauma-informed, client-centered care to more than 40,000 people annually who face domestic violence and homelessness.

URI firmly believes that a future free from violence is not just a dream – it is an achievable reality, but we must acknowledge domestic violence as a major source of fatalities and allocate the necessary resources to address it comprehensively.   For press inquiries, contact Dondi Quintans, dquintans@urinyc.org.    In solidarity,  Nathaniel Fields

CEO, Urban Resource Institute

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