Deb Gordon’s guests were Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and TV and Radio Weatherman/Personality Mr. G. discussing the Brooklyn Family Justice Center which Mr. Hynes co-founded, along with Mayor Bloomberg to provide a comprehensive resource for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence. The Center helps women keep their family unit intact and work on themselves to improve their situation, so they never have to return to the abuser. The Center has served as a model for similar centers that have opened up throughout New York.
Mr. Hynes shared his own personal story of watching his father beat his mother as a child and the impact it has had on his life. Mr. Hynes discussed how he suppressed the incidents until 1989 when he was a lawyer and witnessed a young woman who had just been abused being virtually dismissed by an assistant DA as being ““another of those husband and wife issues”. The incident brought back the memories of what he experienced, and he felt compelled to change the way abused women were perceived and to find them the help they needed to try to ensure that no victim of domestic violence would have to suffer like his mother did, nor any kid have to watch what he watched as a boy. Due to Mr. Hynes’ efforts, most DA offices now have resources dedicated to the containment of domestic violence.
Mr. G, who is also a former schoolteacher, discussed how severely the children who experience domestic violence are impacted, many of whom usually grow up with tremendous anxiety, mistrust lack of intimacy and need increased services to counteract the adversity and help them develop into productive members of society.
Also discussed was Safe at Home, which is the organization started by Joe Torre whose mother was also abused by his father, and how it has helped provide the resources for the Family Justice Center to start Margaret’s Place, which is dedicated to Mr. Torre’s mother and allows the Center to hire child therapists for families to begin the healing and break the cycle of violence for the kids involved.
Spotlighted stalking, which is usually a precursor to physical harm. Mr. Hynes provided some of the ways that women can determine what stalking is including hang up calls, harassing calls, standing around a person’s residence, and staring.
If you need more information, or know someone who is being stalked or abused, please call the DA’s Office Command Center at 718 250 2025. Someone will be available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also visit www.familyjusticecenter.org.
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