MANHATTAN — The city will invest nearly $7 million to better support survivors of domestic violence and arrest abusers after a spike in incidents, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.
The additional services include expanding a program to provide intervention for children who witnessed domestic violence, purchasing “alternative light source cameras” to show evidence of choking and providing immigration legal assistance to victims as needed.
The investment comes after a task force co-chaired by First Lady Chirlane McCray was convened in November to recommend ways for the city to reduce domestic violence and better serve survivors.
“Domestic violence is disturbingly common, and affects every neighborhood in NYC. It’s only by confronting this crime that we will end the vicious cycle that perpetuates it,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“This report sends a loud and clear message — we will not tolerate domestic violence, survivors have the City’s full support, and abusers must be held accountable. We will do everything we can to ensure that New York City is safer for everyone, everywhere, at all times.”
The number of intimate partner homicides increased from 49 in 2015 to 59 in 2016, according to City Hall. Domestic violence incident reports rose from more than 75,241 in 2015 to 76,237 last year.
Domestic violence incidents accounted for more than 11 percent of all major crimes in 2016, according to the mayor’s office.
The city will also invest to expand the Early Victim Engagement program, which works with victims after an abuser has been arraigned in criminal court.
Additional funds will be provided to the Administration for Children’s Services to hire additional “investigative consultants” to look into potential abuse of children who are not yet in school.
The Department of Education will receive funds to work with students who are the victims of dating violence.
The money is coming out of the city budget for fiscal year 2018, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor's office.
“There is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to domestic violence but there are actions we can take to provide pathways to safety for survivors and hold abusers accountable," McCray said in a statement. “The new investments we are announcing will help us leverage bold innovations that support families, help them heal, and address root causes of abusive behavior.”