News Articles

The Reality of Domestic Violence in New York City

By Catherine Kirch

The office of City Comptroller Scott Singer released a study on Monday, November 4th, revealing the terrible reality that domestic violence survivors are showing up in large numbers at the homeless shelters operated by New York City.

Forty-one percent of people who entered the city’s family homeless shelters in 2018, the study finds, were survivors of domestic abuse. This includes an estimated 7,000 children, many of whom are under six years old. What is more, these numbers also represent a forty-four percent increase over the last five years.

The Importance of Finding Help

When facing domestic violence and abuse, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. Deciding to leave an abusive situation can be a monumental challenge on its own, let alone figuring out where to go or what to do to stay safe. This is perhaps why, as the comptroller’s study revealed, domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness.

The Catholic Charities Help Line works to bridge the gap between those in need and the services that can help them. When people call the Help Line, they are connected to a trained, knowledgeable, bilingual staff who can assess their needs and refer them to relevant resources, services, and programs.

They might be referred to a caseworker, a specific division within Catholic Charities Community Services, a local parish, a public benefits program, or another agency or service, depending on what best suits the caller’s needs. If the Help Line staff are unable to provide immediate answers, they will conduct any needed research and call back, so that no one is left behind.

Other Domestic Violence Resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, please call the Catholic Charities Help Line at 888-744-7900, or contact any of the below resources. (Please note that the CC Help Line is not a Crisis Hotline.)

National Domestic Violence Hotline — Chat online or call 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224) to talk confidentially and get information and resources.

NYC 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE — This hotline provides temporary housing, emergency shelter, counseling services, advocacy services, and referral services for survivors and their children.

To reach Safe Horizon, call the NYC hotline above and dial extension 4673. Safe Horizon offers ongoing support for survivors of violence and abuse, including free lock and cylinder replacement for those who feel unsafe in their homes.

NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project: 212-714-1141 — This is a crisis intervention hotline for reporting intimate partner violence, hate violence, sexual violence, and hook-up violence.

Visit the New York State Domestic Violence Program Directory to find a hotline in New York State by county.