In the beginning of October, I had the unique pleasure of meeting Chief of Domestic Violence for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Deirdre Biallo-Padin.
When she called, I was thrilled and hearing of her position, went immediately into our 10 minute “shpiel” on Sue Rock Originals Everyone, Inc. – how we started, how dynamic the organization has become and our upcoming events…….
Only to discover that she had seen our flyer, was an avid knitter and was interested in getting YARN!!!! (LOL). Well we got the particulars, both myself and my husband went to the DA’s office to present a the yarn and meet Ms Padin. She had encouraged five of her staff to come on board also and work on items with us. She then gave us a tour of the recently created Family Justice Center. For the first time, women who are pursuing legal recourse for their domestic violence situation can get the assistance they may need regarding a variety of family issues ALL ON ONE FLOOR.
In 1990, when Charles J. Hynes took office as District Attorney of Kings County, he vowed to place a great emphasis on domestic violence. He had a vested interest in this issue – his mother was battered and he experienced the damage done to his own family first hand.
In November 2001, New York City residents voted to amend the City Charter to establish a permanent office that would comprehensively address issues of domestic violence. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Yolanda B. Jimenez as the first commissioner to head the new office, which is one of only a few government offices in the United States focused solely on the issue of domestic violence.
The Family Justice Center has disposable phones, clothing for those in immediate need, Safe Horizon offices, offices for immigrants from Haiti, Russia and Eastern Europe, South East Asia and India and for the Hasidic community. There are legal services for immigrants and social service offices for those needing housing. And a wonderful children’s playcare area.
The staff at the Family Justice Center was really enthusiastic about this type of organization. Working in the service industry for survivors of domestic violence can be quite stressful. To our surprise everyone looked forward to having this way of giving back that was creative and relaxing. They received a full box of yarn and knitting needles to create beautiful items for women who have made the first step towards change!