Uptown Leaders Call For Domestic Violence Programs After Inwood Stabbing

By Nigel Chiwaya on January 17, 2013 2:29pm 

INWOOD — Several elected officials and uptown leaders came together Thursday to call for more domestic violence education and outreach programs after an Inwood woman was killed by her ex-boyfriend on New Year's Eve.

Standing outside of her Sherman Avenue district office, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, joined by city Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, city Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and District Mark Levine, among others, said that she would work to pass any measure that deals with youth domestic violence, including the Women's Equality Act, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo championed in his State of the State address.

The gathering came just three weeks after the death of Edith Rojas. Rojas, 19, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend Jonathan Pena-Castillo while returning home from doing laundry on New Year's Eve. Castillo has been charged with murder.

"We can no longer sit back and let this happen," said Rosa, who also announced that she will be holding a domestic violence forum on Feb. 7 at the Isabella Geriatric Center on Audubon Avenue.

"This isn't the first time we've had to stand in Northern Manhattan because a woman from this area was killed," added Quinn.

"Enough is enough and we finally need to make these words not just be words, but a statement."

Espaillat and Rodriguez called for domestic violence classes in public schools.

"This is a vicious cycle," Espaillat said. "Something must be done in schools to address this epidemic."

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