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URI Stands with Cassie Ventura: A Call to Believe

and Support Domestic Violence Survivors

New  York, May 24, 2024 – Urban Resource Institute (URI) stands in solidarity with Cassie Ventura following her courageous decision to share her story and the release of a 2016 surveillance video showing her being physically assaulted by Sean “Diddy” Combs. We honor Ms. Ventura for her bravery in exposing the harsh reality of domestic violence and encouraging others to support survivors. 

Ms. Ventura’s public statement and the support she has received underscore a critical truth: domestic violence is pervasive, insidious, and affects individuals regardless of their status. Her words, “Domestic Violence is THE issue,” resonate deeply with our mission to end cycles of violence and trauma. 

The violence seen in the video reminds us of the importance of believing survivors from the moment they speak out. It takes immense strength to share such personal and painful experiences. As a community, we must listen, believe, and act. Providing immediate safety, shelter, and comprehensive support services is essential for helping survivors thrive.  

The surveillance video is incredibly difficult to watch, highlighting that many victims endure similar or worse abuse, often unrecorded and unseen. Many only grasp the severity of these situations when they are confronted with undeniable evidence.  

While the celebrity aspect has brought attention to this case, we must focus on the broader issue: nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced domestic violence. This pervasive issue does not discriminate but disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic women. This intersection of systemic racism and gender-based violence demands concerted efforts to address it.

At URI, we are committed to providing life-saving support and services to survivors of domestic violence and their families. As the largest provider of domestic violence shelter and support services in the country, we offer shelter to 3,700 adults and children every night, and annually  assist approximately 40,000 people who have experienced homelessness or violence. 

Those who cause harm have often experienced their own pain and trauma, which they project onto others. This cycle of abuse is perpetuated by a patriarchal system that instills a false sense of superiority and entitlement. Addressing domestic violence requires a holistic approach and providing those who cause harm with the tools and support necessary to change their behavior. Our Abusive Partner Intervention Program (APIP) helps individuals understand the impact of their actions and learn to engage in healthy relationships. 

As a society, we must confront the root causes of domestic violence, including the toxic aspects of patriarchy. By fostering an environment where survivors are believed and supported, and by addressing the trauma of those who cause harm, we can end the cycles of abuse. 

URI remains steadfast in our mission to provide trauma-informed, client-centered support. We call on our community, partners, and policymakers to join us in this critical work. Support can be as simple as providing a survivor with access to resources like URI and the domestic violence hotline, listening non-judgmentally, and offering relevant information when the survivor is ready.

To learn more about Urban Resource Institute and ways to support survivors of domestic violence and families experiencing homelessness, visit www.urinyc.org. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, call NYC’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE for help. 

Together, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to live free from violence and fear. 

In solidarity, 

Nathaniel Fields
CEO, Urban Resource Institute 

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