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Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke Hosts Forum on Domestic Violence Awareness with Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson and Council Member Laurie Cumbo

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement about the Forum on Domestic Violence Awareness she hosted last evening to provide 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. In New York City, the police department responds to seven hundred and seventy reports of domestic violence every day. 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,” said Congresswoman Clarke, who worked to include protections for women who are undocumented immigrants or who are Native American 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. Now, we must continue the conversation with our families and our friends, with people we know in our community. We cannot remain silent. Silence allows domestic violence to continue. Silence prevents the survivors of domestic violence from learning about the resources that are available to assist them. 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.”

Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson said: “As a survivor, I know first–hand from personal experience that domestic violence is a scourge in our communities, ravaging lives of victims, and creating cascading effects on families and whole communities. Domestic Violence Awareness Month represents an opportunity for so many to share their stories of emerging from victimization into empowerment, and drives a frank discussion on ways to address the causes and implement solutions. Last night’s panel was very powerful and emotional for me. I am proud to have taken part in this forum, and to have had the opportunity to both speak and listen to the profound wisdom of the distinguished panel. I want to thank Congresswoman Clarke for assembling this wonderful event, and look forward to continuing the conversation going forward. We need to sustain a year-round movement to stop the cycle of violence from perpetuating, and alert victims and families to services available to assist them.”

“Every day, hundreds of women are suffering in silence after being subjected to physical or verbal abuse. Thousands of domestic or intimate partner violence incidents often go unreported, due to fear, putting women and children in even greater danger. As UpStanders, we must break the silence and end the stigma that has isolated the survivors in need of our support and encouragement,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. “The safety of our community is a shared responsibility that requires all of us to take a more active role in curbing the violence that has taken far too many lives.”

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, the Director of Safe Horizon, Antwone “Mississippi Infiniti” Sewell, an educator with the Center for Anti-Violence Education, 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, the Honorable Diana C. Richardson, representative of the Forty-Third New York State Assembly District, and the Honorable Laurie Cumbo, representative of the Thirty-Fifth New York City Council District.

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, the Committee on Ethics and the Committee of Small Business in the House of Representatives, proudly represents Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, Park Slope, Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.