Free counseling, workshops among new campaign to stop domestic violence in Newark

By Noah Cohen | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on June 15, 2016

Ras Baraka at his swearing-in as Newark's mayor in this file photo

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NEWARK — City officials on Wednesday announced an effort to prevent domestic violence and help victims through a host of services, including a 24-hour counseling hotline, legal referrals, help with relocating people who are being abused and educational programs.

"In the City of Newark, this year, eight women have already lost their lives to domestic violence," Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. "Domestic violence does not just affect women – men, children, and seniors are also often victims." 

According to city officials, the effort focused on both preventing domestic abuse and providing services for victims.

In the prevention effort, officials said they would hold community workshops as well as add training for police officers, doctors and school counselors to spot signs of abuse. Community-based training is planned at local organizations, faith groups, hair and nail salons and laundromats, among other efforts.

Dr. Hanaa A. Hamdi, Newark's director of Health and Community Wellness, said the city hoped to raise awareness of domestic violence.

"The many groups coming together in this effort is indicative of the community-wide commitment to ending domestic violence and ensuring that victims of domestic violence receive the support they need when they need it," Hamdi added in the announcement.

Officials said the services for victims included, the 24-hour hotline (reachable at 973-877-9448) that links those in need with free and confidential support, emergency relocation to escape an abuser, referrals to medical and social services, help with navigating the court system, parenting support, and job training programs.

The city also planned to create the Newark Coalition to End Domestic Violence, which would develop policies around the issue.

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