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New York City's first lady Chirlane McCray. Photo: Ed Reed/NYC Mayor's Office

Each year, New York City’s domestic violence hotline receives more than 80,000 phone calls.

 

To help those experiencing domestic violence, and to equip others with information on how to safely step in, New York City first lady Chirlane McCray announced on Thursday the launch of a web portal called NYCHOPE.

 

NYCHOPE is the city’s first-ever web-based platform dedicated to providing resources to domestic violence survivors, officials said.

 

Its launch is also accompanied by a domestic violence awareness campaign — the first such citywide campaign in more than a decade — called “We Understand.”

 

Both the web portal and the campaign came out of recommendations from the NYC Domestic Violence Task Force, which is co-chaired by McCray and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. 

 

"It is time to stop asking survivors of domestic violence why they stay and start asking what more can we do to support them and their families,” McCray said in a statement. “The innovative NYCHOPE portal and ‘We Understand’ ad campaign will help educate New Yorkers about the complexities of intimate partner violence, and make it easier for survivors to access the services they need for safety and heal from trauma.”

The “We Understand” campaign will include ads displayed in bus shelters, subways, the Staten Island Ferry and on social media platforms, which will run for 12 weeks, through the first week of April.

That campaign aims to connect domestic violence survivors and their loved ones to NYCHOPE, where they can find services to get help.

NYCHOPE will be able to direct survivors to NYC Family Justice Centers, crisis counseling, shelters and more.

The site also provides information about what a healthy relationship looks like and how to identify signs of abuse, as well as a guide for how to help a family member or friend experiencing such abuse.

NYCHOPE also has a quick escape feature to get away from the site so users can feel safe while searching for this information.

Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett noted in a statement that domestic violence takes multiple forms, including physical, sexual and emotional assault. Samir Saini, commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, noted that this portal stands to be a “literal lifesaving resource.”

“Domestic violence remains a significantly underreported crime, due in part to the fact that victims often feel there is nowhere to turn for help,” O’Neill added in a statement. “This portal provides both the victims themselves, as well as those who suspect that such activity is occurring, the ability to readily reach out for assistance and support.”