NEW YORK – Today, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, candidate for Manhattan district attorney, joined advocates and direct services providers to demand better protections for victims of gender-based violence.
Watch video of the rally here.
Generations of women have spent their lives fighting for justice and equality. This activism has challenged discrimination and violence against women and ignited change. To achieve gender equity, we must shine a light on gender-based violence in all forms — intimate-partner violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and hate-based violence, and other crimes that keep women from opportunity and prosperity.
Gender-based violence remains an unacceptable crisis across the country, and Manhattan is no exception. In New York City, domestic violence accounts for two in five felony assaults and one in every five homicides. In 2020, there were 1,428 reported rapes. Unfortunately, those who report their sexual assault rarely find justice; only about nine of every 1,000 sexual assault cases nationwide are referred to prosecutors.
In the early months of the pandemic, the city saw a surge in domestic violence. Hotline calls spiked 30%. By the fall of 2020, 45 New Yorkers had been killed in domestic violence acts, including three people during ten days — one of whom was pregnant.
“Our collective failure to respond with sufficient force, commitment, and compassion to gender-based violent crimes is shameful and wrong. And while law enforcement cannot address the crisis alone, we must do our part and do it well,” said Tali Farhadian Weinstein.
For too long, women have been let down by the criminal justice system and, as a result, are reluctant to report their experiences of gender-based violence — especially if they know the perpetrator. From private homes to small businesses to public transportation to corner offices, powerful men have gotten away with abuse for decades, leaving room for a growing culture of victim-blaming. This dangerous trend has left survivors deeply skeptical of how such cases are handled and embedding doubts about law enforcement’s commitment to them.
“We must all work to support victims of Gender-Based Violence by making it as easy as possible for a victim to come forward and report the abuse. Too often, victims are reluctant to report the abuse because they do not feel supported. Tali’s plan to create a Gender-Based Violence Bureau that includes a Domestic Violence Unit and a Sex Crimes Unit will add much-needed resources and services so that all victims feel heard and know that they are not alone,” said Yolanda Jimenez, Former Commissioner NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
“With the increase of anti-Asian racism and hate crimes against the community, Asian women have been a primary target for these attacks. It is important that we have a DA who is aware of the significance and impact of this issue to ensure that we do not remain in fear of walking through our own neighborhood. I am looking forward to the reduction of hate crimes and attacks against Asian- American women. I believe that Tali will be that powerful force to help us to enforce the laws against these hate crimes,” said Frances Wong, Executive Board Member, League of Asian Americans of New York.
We cannot have true criminal justice reform without a pronounced new approach to gender-based violence to clarify the expertise and specific strategies required for different types of crime.
“Reducing gender-based violence in our city is going to take vision, commitment, resources and leaders who are ready to take it on,” said Sonia Ossorio, Executive Director of NOW-NYC. “The Manhattan District Attorney can be a central force in leading that fight and that is why women’s rights advocates and attorneys are fully backing Tali’s candidacy.”
In November, Tali released her plan for a new Bureau of Gender-Based Violence. The Bureau will report directly to the district attorney and house the Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence units, as well as units concentrating on human trafficking, elder abuse, stalking, and gender-based hate crimes.
“Gender-based violence remains an unacceptable crisis in New York City. Our collective failure to respond with sufficient force, commitment, and compassion to gender-based violent crimes is shameful and wrong. And while law enforcement cannot address the crisis alone, we must do our part and do it well,” said Tali Farhadian Weinstein. “Under my leadership, the office will work alongside community partners to deliver critical services to victims. Together, we will integrate our approach to gender-based violence into our broader agenda of criminal justice reform. Most importantly, we will investigate and prosecute gender-based violence with the expertise and moral courage these crimes demand.”
“The presence of a gun makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed by her abuser. Our girls and our children are getting killed by DV. Guns are a well-known instrument of power and control in domestic abuse even when the gun is not discharged. Tali has the plans and the experience to make our streets safe. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired and Tali is the answer. She is why we stand here today,” said Jackie Rowe-Adams, Harlem Mothers Save.