WRITTEN BY MIA LENTINELLO

Concluding Domestic Violence Awareness Month, representatives from Urban Resources Institute (URI) spoke at SFC on Oct. 29.

Speaking for Professor Miller’s Psychology of Women course, Jae Young Kim and Melody Centero talked about their careers at URI and awareness of domestic violence.

URI is a New York-based program helping families escape abuse and get back on their feet.

Most people think domestic violence is only physical abuse, but it includes emotional and verbal as well.

“Domestic abuse is a power struggle that happens over time,” said Kim.

“Abusers are stating their power over their victim and it is hard for many victims to get out of abusive situations.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Men are victims too, but not as often.

Kim said, “If you don’t think that violence is a problem, it’s not going to change.”

Domestic violence awareness needs to be implemented in more academic settings to raise these pressing issues that not only affect the victims, but everyone in society.

Many domestic violence cases are very dangerous and deadly.

Kim explained that cops are there to get someone convicted, not to be sympathetic.

There are many programs willing to help and support the victims of domestic violence such as Safe Horizons and the Family Justice System.

URI has four undercover shelters throughout New York City to house victims of abuse for 3-6 months.

It generally takes around seven times before a victim can leave an abuser for good.

Centero talked about safety planning and how victims can make a get-away once and for all. She explained that abuse is a form of selfishness at the expense of someone else.

Kim and Centero spoke of how URI helps women escape their abusers, house them in fully furnished apartments, and set them up with internships.

Kim explained how many abuse victims feel they cannot leave their abusers because they are not only emotionally attached, but even economically. Many victims depend on their abuser for money and shelter and may even be on the lease for an apartment.

The URI internship program provides clients with a source of income and experience that can help them get a job in the future.

URI is New York City’s first domestic violence shelter that allows pets.

People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) launched earlier this year as URI collaborated with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to welcome pets into shelters.

All victims are allowed to bring their children, pets, and cell phones with them, along with a few belongings.

For more information and/or if you know anyone who needs help please visit www.urinyc.org or don’t hesitate to call (646)-588-0030.

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