Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke on Wednesday, Oct. 14 conducted a Forum on Domestic Violence Awareness in Brooklyn, providing members of the community with information about preventing domestic violence and offering survivors the resources needed to reclaim their lives.
“The problem of domestic violence threatens us in every community in the United States,” said Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, at the event held at the Brooklyn Museum.
“In New York City, the police department responds to 7770 reports of domestic violence every day,” she added. “Those reports amount to 281,000 incidents each year.
“We must end the pervasive silence about domestic violence that continues to prevent survivors from accessing critical services and allows these attacks to continue,” continued the congresswoman, who worked to include protections for women, who are undocumented immigrants or who are Native Americans, in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.
“I am proud that we could assemble some of the most preeminent experts on domestic violence in world, women and men who are leaders in the effort to secure the personal dignity of each individual person,” Clarke said. “Now, we must continue the conversation with our families and our friends, with people we know in our community. We cannot remain silent.”
Clarke said silence allows domestic violence to continue.
“Silence prevents the survivors of domestic violence from learning about the resources that are available to assist them,” she said. “Silence often results in the false assumption that we as a society are not concerned with domestic violence. Let us affirm that we will fight to end domestic violence forever.”
Participants in the forum included Sheila Beverly-Skinner, president of the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; J. Kendall Smalls, social action chairman for the Second District of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office To Combat Domestic Violence; New York Police Department Domestic Violence Unit Chief Juanita Holmes; Kim Kavern, director of Safe Horizon; and Antwone “Mississippi Infiniti” Sewell, an educator with the Center for Anti-Violence Education.
The others were: Quentin Walcott, co-executive director of Connect; Carol Maraj, president of the Carol Maraj Foundation; Keynote Speaker, Sil Lai Abrams, the founder and chief executive officer of Truth in Reality; Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson, representative of the 43rd State Assembly District; and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, representative of the 35th New York City Council District.