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Bed-Stuy Group Takes Aim at Domestic Violence With Plan to Join Resources

 The Bedford-Stuyvesant Anti-Violence Project is looking to reduce domestic violence and increase community safety in the neighborhood.
The Bedford-Stuyvesant Anti-Violence Project is looking to reduce domestic violence and increase community safety in the neighborhood.
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Flickr/Linus Henning

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A local group hoping to curb domestic violence in the neighborhood has started canvassing neighbors in the 11206 zip code, gathering information about their needs and experiences to use toward a plan of action.

The goal of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Anti-Violence Project, which started surveying residents last week, is to use the information to provide local leaders with tools and information about crime trends and to connect the community with criminal justice resources.

The research is necessary considering the city has identified Bed-Stuy as one of six neighborhoods with the highest numbers of domestic violence indicators, including family-related homicides, according to Hailey Nolasco, project planner with the initiative.

“It’s a source of violence that’s usually behind closed doors and people don’t really speak about it. Some people might be afraid, and we realize that,” Nolasco said.

“Here’s our chance to actually give the community the resources they need to create healthy and vibrant communities. We by no means want to just give Bedford-Stuyvesant a program, we want to work with Bedford-Stuyvesant to create a program.”

The project also seeks to find if domestic violence is connected with other forms of violence, and how locals respond to those types.

Once the data is collected, the group will work with stakeholders including law enforcement, community and faith nonprofits, businesses and residents to form an advisory board that will develop a strategy to address the issues.

Last year, the city rolled out a NYCHA response team at the Tompkins Houses to link residents to city services.

The new project is made possible through a grant from the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program, Nolasco added, and will be overseen the Center for Court Innovation, which already works in the area with anti-gun violence program Save Our Streets Bed-Stuy.

It was through S.O.S. that organizers found that many Bed-Stuy residents were struggling with domestic violence, according to Nolasco.

From 2002 to 2013, there were 306 family-related homicides in Brooklyn alone, according to the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. Bed-Stuy’s 81st Precinct ranked fifth out of Brooklyn precincts with high incident frequencies.

The total number of domestic incident reports filed in Brooklyn in 2015 was 86,819, according to city data.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Anti-Violence Project welcomes volunteers for the yearlong planning process and invites residents to take their survey, Nolasco said.

“We’re trying to get everybody in the pot — all relevant stakeholders in the community to come up with a great program for the neighborhood,” she added.

For more information, email hnolasco@nycourts.gov.