A news report is surfacing of a woman, a victim of repeated domestic abuse, who stealthily called 911 for help while her attacker was still in the home. The woman, who is remaining anonymous, allegedly dialed 911 and requested to order a pizza. According to an article posted on Xolxol.ph, the emergency dispatcher originally thought this was another prank call, however, their intuition kicked in at just the right time. A chat transcript of the call is as follows:
Dispatcher: "911, where is your emergency?"
Caller: "123 Main St."
Dispatcher: "Ok, what's going on there?"
Caller: "I'd like to order a pizza for delivery."
Dispatcher: "Ma'am, you've reached 911"
Caller: "Yeah, I know. Can I have a large with half pepperoni, half mushroom and peppers?"
Dispatcher: "Ummm…. I'm sorry, you know you've called 911 right?"
Caller: "Yeah, do you know how long it will be?"
Dispatcher: "Ok, Ma'am, is everything ok over there? Do you have an emergency?"
Caller: "Yes, I do."
Dispatcher: "And you can't talk about it because there's someone in the room with you?"
Caller: "Yes, that's correct. Do you know how long it will be?"
Dispatcher: "I have an officer about a mile from your location. Are there any weapons in your house?"
Dispatcher: "Can you stay on the phone with me?"
Caller: "Nope. See you soon, thanks."
As you can see, the 911 operator's quick thinking helped to save the woman's life and allowed her to remove herself from a dangerous environment. Many victims of domestic violence, both male and female, are often unaware of local resources available to them, or, they are too scared to seek help. Statistically speaking, an alarming 1 in 4 women will fall victim to some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. Often, children will be forced to witness these horrific acts, and the impact of which can haunt them for years to come. Children who are raised in a domestic violence household can have lasting damage, as they are unaware of what a healthy, functioning, and successful relationship looks like. They may think violence is okay, and are more likely to inflict abuse in some form as they grow older. The cycle needs to be stopped, but how?
New York City, including the outer boroughs, have many resources for victims of domestic violence. The main goal of these agencies and organizations is to remove victims from dangerous situations, provide safe and secure housing, as well as assist with legal matters including divorce, child custody, and orders of protection (if the need for one is warranted). A shortlist of helpful agencies in the New York City area is as follows:
Safe Horizon: 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)
- Safe Horizon provides safe houses and shelters for adults and children who are victims of domestic violence, information and helpful tips for recognizing spousal and child abuse, legal help, and assistance establishing a new life.
- Child Advocacy Centers are located throughout the 5 boroughs, and are by appointment only. For emergencies, call their toll free line or 311, or dial 911.
NYC Human Resources Administration Domestic Violence Support: 311 or 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)
- HRA has a specialized program aimed at preventing domestic violence. Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) can be found in schools throughout NYC, and its main goal is to end relationship abuse between teens.
- All additional domestic violence support is provided by the Office of Domestic Violence (ODV), which works in conjunction with Safe Horizon.
Center Against Domestic Violence: 718-254-9134 or 718-439-1000
- Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the CADV has worked tirelessly since the 1970's to help end domestic violence, and was one of the first organizations in the United States to do so.
- The CADV has three safe havens, which provide temporary shelter for women and children who are escaping violent households. The shelters offer private or semi-private accommodations, and 24-hour security to help ensure victim's safety.
- The CADV also provides permanent housing, and educates victims on how to protect themselves, recognize abuse patterns, as well as information for additional support and resources in their communities.
As unfortunate as it is, divorce and domestic violence sometimes go hand-in-hand. It is always encouraged that victims seek immediate help from crisis centers from reputable organizations located throughout New York State. At Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C., we are empathetic towards victims of abuse, and the extremely sensitive nature of their divorce and family law proceedings. We strive to make it our goal to ensure that our clients are well informed regarding matrimonial and child custody law, and that they are comfortable with the level of confidential and professional representation that our firm provides. The time to take steps to leave an abusive environment is now, and it is crucial to seek help as soon as possible. For more information, contact us at 718-857-7584 or 646-759-9735 to schedule a free consultation.