Mineola, NY - October 8, 2015 - As an initiative during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and The Safe Center held an event to raise public awareness of the confidential 24-hour hotline which is the organization’s main point of entry for most of its clients, and among several Safe Center programs funded or supported by the DA’s Office.
According to The Safe Center, one in three women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime, and one in four women has been the victim of serious physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Last year, the Nassau County Police Department responded to approximately 14,000 domestic violence calls. The Safe Center’s confidential 24-hour hotline number — 516-542-0404 — receives approximately 7,000 calls per year.
“We want to make sure that every woman, man and child in Nassau County knows about this invaluable tool,” Acting DA Singas said. “This confidential, 24-hour hotline is the gateway for so many critical resources that help domestic violence victims and is just one of several Safe Center programs the District Attorney’s office funds or supports. We’re proud of our yearslong partnership with The Safe Center to keep families in Nassau County safe.”
Safe Center Co-Executive Director Sandy Oliva said: “For over 35 years, The Safe Center’s trained and dedicated counselors have been answering Nassau County’s only domestic violence/rape and sexual assault hotline, giving solace, support and strength to the hundreds of thousands of women and men who have reached out to us for help. Additionally, our years-long partnership with the Nassau District Attorney’s Office has helped us support those who have survived intimate partner violence and sexual assault, as well as move their perpetrators toward justice and accountability. Last year we received over 7,000 calls for help to this hotline, but we know that is just a small percentage of the actual number of Nassau residents who are experiencing domestic violence. We are grateful to the District Attorney’s office for helping to spread the word to every woman, man and child in Nassau County that help is available, and calling our 24-hour confidential hotline at 516-542-0404 may very well be the first step in getting them to a place of safety and healing.”
The Safe Center, which is also staffed by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and Police Department, provides numerous services for survivors of domestic violence, rape, human trafficking and other crimes, including crisis intervention; individual, child and family counseling; legal advocacy; emergency and long-term housing assistance; educational programs; and referrals to other services.
The District Attorney’s Office has been partnering with and funding various programs at The Safe Center since before the organization’s restructuring in 2014, when the Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV) and the Coalition Against Child Abuse & Neglect (CCAN) merged into one facility in Bethpage to form The Safe Center.
This year, Acting DA Singas renewed $155,000 in criminal asset forfeiture grants – there is no taxpayer expense – to help pay for The Safe Center’s hotline as well as The Safe Center’s “Police Partnership Project,” which reaches out to domestic violence victims after law enforcement intervention. The Project has reached out to more than 200,000 victims since its inception.
The Safe Center is also a service provider at the Human Trafficking Intervention court part staffed by the District Attorney’s Office, receives referrals from DA prosecutors, and is hoped to be a primary partner in Acting DA Singas’ proposal to build a “Family Justice Center” one-stop-shop for domestic violence victims near Nassau County Court in Mineola.