NYC kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness Month with “NYC Go Purple” Day

Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel joined yesterday elected officials from across the five boroughs – including co-chairs of the Women’s Caucus, Council Members Laurie A. Cumbo, and Helen Rosenthal – for NYC Go Purple Day in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

To mark the annual day of awareness, buildings and landmarks across the City will light up in purple, including City Hall, One Police Plaza, the Yankee Stadium Jumbotron, Borough Halls in each borough, the Queens Museum and the Parachute Jump at Coney Island. All City Agencies have been encouraged to participate by asking their employees to wear purple and to post on social media with the hashtag #NYCGoPurple. NYPD precincts will be decorating their buildings and cars with banners and ribbons. The City will also host programming throughout the month designed to raise awareness around domestic violence and the resources available to victims, survivors, and their children.

“No New Yorker should feel unsafe, especially within their own home and surrounded by the people they love. That’s why we’re raising awareness about healthy relationships and the resources available to those who find themselves in unhealthy or abusive situations,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Since we opened the doors to the Staten Island Family Justice Center earlier this year, I’m proud to say that every New Yorker – regardless of age, race, language, gender or sexual identity or immigration status – can walk into a center in their own borough to receive critical services, from legal counseling to housing assistance.”

“Domestic violence affects New Yorkers of every ethnicity, every socioeconomic class and in every borough,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Honorary Chair of the Committee on Gender Equity. “NYC Go Purple Day helps us spread the message that we can never tolerate domestic violence. We reach many survivors with our Go Purple events. Our message is that there are services available in safe locations to help them heal and put their lives back together. We are focused on reaching as many survivors as possible, but also want to prevent domestic violence, and help women and girls understand that they should be treated with respect.‎”

On NYC Go Purple Day, City and elected officials and volunteers in all five boroughs will conduct outreach and provide information about domestic violence to New Yorkers in public spaces. All New Yorkers, including City employees, are encouraged to wear purple and post photos on social media with the hashtag #NYCGoPurple.

This summer, the City opened the Staten Island Family Justice Center, the City’s fifth, and completed the de Blasio administration’s vision of having a Center in every borough. This summer OCDV also unveiled its Policy & Training Institute, which will assist City agencies and community-based organizations in reviewing and updating their domestic violence policies and providing tailored training for their staff. Included within the Institute is the NYC Healthy Relationship Training Academy which last year conducted over 300 workshops and trained almost 7,000 youth, parents and organizational staff about what a healthy relationship consists of and looks like. This year, as part of the Academy, OCDV also introduced the Creating Awareness about Relationship Equality (CARE) Program, which will bring our training to the over 5,000 youth in the City’s foster care system, giving them the tools they need to build healthy relationships.

The Office of Domestic Violence (ODV) under the Human Resources Administration (HRA) oversees the largest system of domestic violence services in the country, which includes 54 shelters that offer safety, hope, and a path to healing for over 3,000 adults and children each day. ODV also directly operates the largest domestic violence shelter in NYC. While in a shelter, survivors receive support services including counseling, preparation for permanent housing, help to locate adequate housing, child care services, help to apply for benefits such as public assistance and rental assistance programs, access to job readiness and placement programs, and financial development and economic empowerment services. This year, HRA began the expansion of its shelter bed system to add 400 tier II units and 300 emergency beds – approximately 13,300 more children and adults will be served annually. The expansion focuses on providing a safe haven for single survivors of domestic violence, including single pregnant women and women with very young children.

The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) formulates policies and programs, coordinates the citywide delivery of domestic violence services and works with diverse communities and community leaders to increase awareness of domestic violence. OCDV collaborates closely with government and nonprofit agencies that assist domestic violence survivors and operates the New York City Family Justice Centers. These co‐located multidisciplinary domestic violence service centers provide vital social service, civil legal and criminal justice assistance for survivors of intimate partner violence and their children under one roof.

For more information on services offered through the City’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, call 212-788-3156 or visit the website at