Category: Domestic Violence and Disabilities

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Domestic Violence and Disabilities

Learn how Barrier Free Living supports individuals with disabilities to live dignified lives free of all forms of abuse and bias.

BFL’s Freedom House: Guiding Families To Heal

May 9, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, LMSW, Assistant Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House she worked with youth in alternatives… read more

NJ Coalition To End Sexual Assault 5K in Asbury Park

May 2, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The New Jersey Coalition to End Sexual Assault (NJCASA) is hosting a 5K event in Asbury Park, NJ Saturday May 5, 2018 as a way to support statewide social change efforts to ensure survivors are supported and affirmed. Check-in begins at 8:00 AM in Asbury Park at Convention Hall; corner of 5th and Ocean Avenue. Event begins at 9:00 AM. Info.… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden At St. John’s Turn Off The Violence Week

April 24, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program will be participating in the Next Steps Fair on Thursday, April 26, part of Turn Off The Violence Week at St. John's University.  Turn Off the Violence Week includes the Clothesline Project, and is a week of empowerment and awareness regarding sexual violence in the community. The Clothesline Project started in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It… read more

Denim Day NYC April 25

April 23, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
A host of events are planned for Denim Day in New York City Wednesday, April 25th.  Denim Day NYC is a coalition of community agencies, elected officials, students, and volunteers united to promote awareness around the issue of sexual assault. Denim Day grew out of a case in which a rape conviction was overturned because the judge reasoned the victim’s tight jeans meant that… read more

Secret Garden Attends End Violence Against Women Conference

April 10, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
This past April 3-5, two staff members from Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program attended the End Violence Against Women International Conference On Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Gender Bias in Chicago, IL. The annual conference focuses on sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, human trafficking and elder abuse. The conference brought together international members of law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, judges, and health care professionals to collaborate on… read more

Secret Garden Domestic Violence Support Group In Spanish

April 9, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence (DV) program is launching a new support group for DV Survivors to be conducted in Spanish. Potential participants should identify as immigrant women from Latinx countries, be over 18 years old, and speak Spanish. The group will be running from April 9-June 25, once a week, Mondays from 4:30pm-6pm at the Brooklyn Legal Services office, 105 Court Street in downtown Brooklyn. Service providers should refer clients to… read more

33rd Annual New York Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil April 8

April 2, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The 33rd Annual New York Crime Victims Vigil is scheduled for this Sunday, April 8, 2-4pm at West End Collegiate Church, 245 West 77th St. NYC The event honors survivors from all types of crimes, along with family members of homicide victims. There are speakers, musical performances, and lighting of candles to remember loved ones affected by violence. Families may also bring photos to display during the ceremony. The event is sponsored by : The Office of the New York State… read more

Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes: Part Three Of A Three Part Article

March 28, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living is dedicated to helping people with disabilities thrive in their communities, at our programs and shelters in the New York area. We address the issues facing survivors of domestic violence with disabilities across our programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House and Barrier Free Living Apartments) through safe shelter and housing, trauma-informed counseling, and advocacy. In this three part article, we will explore: why people with disabilities are at a higher risk of abuse;  the likelihood of negative trauma reactions to… read more

Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes: Part Two Of A Three Part Article

March 27, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living is dedicated to helping people with disabilities thrive in their communities, at our programs and shelters in the New York area. We address the issues facing survivors of domestic violence with disabilities across our programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House and Barrier Free Living Apartments) through safe shelter and housing, trauma-informed counseling, and advocacy. At our Transitional Housing program, we provide shelter to adults with disabilities. In this three part article, we will… read more

Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes: Part One Of A Three Part Article

March 27, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes A three-part article exploring the insidious intersection of disability and domestic abuse (originally published in BFL's Breaking Barriers in Domestic Violence April 2018 E-newsletter).  Barrier Free Living is dedicated to helping people with disabilities thrive in their communities, at our programs and shelters in the New York area. We address the issues facing survivors of domestic violence with disabilities across our programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House and … read more

Secret Garden: Preventing Cyberstalking For Survivors of Domestic Violence

March 7, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Blog contributor Kaylen is a social worker and the assistant program director at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden program. She has been with the agency for over 5 years. During a recent Special Topics workshop held at the Secret Garden, Jerome Greco, an attorney from the Digital Forensics Unit at the Legal Aid Society presented on suggestions for preventing cyberstalking. Some of his suggestions included: If possible, set up two factor… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden: Know Your Rights with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

February 22, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Blog contributor Jules is a social worker and the program director at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden program. She has been practicing trauma-informed therapy with the agency for nearly 7 years. In a recent Special Topics workshop hosted at the Secret Garden, criminal defense and immigration attorneys from New York County Defenders Services provided a rich discussion around what it means to Know Your Rights around arrest and immigration. Discussion highlights and… read more

Financial Empowerment Tools For Survivors of Domestic Violence

February 22, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments
Approximately 94-99% of domestic violence survivors experience economic abuse (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Economic abuse occurs when an abuser controls a victim’s access to economic resources, forcing the victim to rely on the abuser for financial support. This includes interfering with a victim’s ability to obtain or keep a job, stealing paychecks or benefit checks, refusing to provide a victim with access to cash or credit cards, or opening bank accounts… read more

BFL At Mayor’s Office For People With Disabilities Event

February 22, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Nicolyn Plummer will be on hand March 3 at the Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities' presentation on "How to Access and Utilize" that office. Nicolyn is a senior social worker and coordinator of outreach and advocacy of the Deaf Services Initiative, in conjunction with Secret Garden and Freedom House to enhance accessibility in serving Deaf victims. View event flyer here.… read more

BFL Secret Garden Program At Community Resource Fair

February 20, 2018 Advocacy, BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program will be on hand at the Feb. 20 Community Resource Fair. The event is from 6pm-8pm at the LGBT Center, 2018 West 13th St. NYC.… read more

Stalking Against Deaf Victims of Domestic Violence

February 15, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
In January 2004, the National Center for Victims of Crime launched National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM) to increase the public's understanding of the crime of stalking. Barrier Free Living team members Nicolyn Plummer and Michelle Reyes take a look at stalking as it relates to Deaf individuals. Nicolyn Plummer is a senior social worker and coordinator of outreach and advocacy of the Deaf Services Initiative, in conjunction with Secret Garden and Freedom House… read more

“Uncomfortable Conversation” Videos Help Break the Cycle Of Domestic Violence

February 13, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
On January 10, 2018, the Barrier Free Living New Visions Blog posted about the launch of “The Uncomfortable Conversation” video series on youtube. These videos grew out of a TEDx talk given by Sarah Beaulieu, herself a survivor of sexual violence as a college student, and sexual molestation as a child. https://youtu.be/ZqL56Ly7sFE Sarah is founder of The Uncomfortable Conversation, Inc., an organization dedicated to normalizing conversations about sexual violence, especially for young men. She also manages the Uncomfortable Conversation… read more

Domestic Violence & Legal Advocacy at Barrier Free Living

February 9, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Residents in BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter are often uncertain about their legal rights. Victims of domestic violence can find the legal system confusing and scary. Our team can advocate for shelter residents, ensuring that all their needs are being met while protecting everyone’s rights involved. Following is a story where our advocacy was crucial in a very difficult case. Survivor’s Story Jean is the mother of two children, Robin (4 years old) and Alexis (2 years old). Jean came… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden Program: Insights On Safety Planning As A Crucial Part of Domestic Violence Counseling

January 30, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments
For persons involved in abusive relationships, many steps must be taken to ensure their security. Developing a safety plan for residents at both Barrier Free Living's Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter for People with Disabilities, and our Secret Garden domestic violence counseling program, is an essential component of this process. Traditionally persons received a handout of safety guidelines upon receiving services at a domestic violence agency. The safety guidelines include information for de-escalating potential incidents of violence… read more

BFL’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter: Insights On Fleeing To Another State Key Things To Consider

January 29, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Domestic violence victims often face the highest level of danger when they take action to leave an abusive relationship. Carolyn Block’s “How can practitioners help an abused woman lower her risk of death?”* indicates that for 45% of women who were murdered by an abuser, the precipitating factor was her attempt to leave that abuser. Deciding to leave an abusive relationship is a difficult choice and can bring up new and serious risks. At times, it can be in the best… read more

BFL’s Freedom House DV Shelter For People With Disabilities: Talking to Children about Domestic Violence

January 29, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Studies reveal that 80 to 90% of children who live in violent homes are keenly aware of the violence. ("Effects of Domestic Violence on Children," Mediation Quarterly)* The fact is, children often come to programs like Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter and understand more than we may think. The key is finding and developing safe ways for the children to speak about, and heal after experiencing the violence. Children’s exposure to violence can occur in various ways. Some… read more

Pink Shines Light On Accessibility At Grammys While Kesha Creates Powerhouse Moment

January 29, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Pink's moving performance of her song "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" at the Grammy's this month featured an American Sign Language interpreter delivering the lyrics. Pink was the only performer to do this during the show. The choice was a step toward having those in the deaf and hard of hearing community be a part of understanding each important line from the song. Later in the show, singer Kesha performed "Praying" and her  triumphant… read more

Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter: Five Key Areas of Safety

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Five Key Areas of Safety: A special follow up to An Innovative New Method for Measuring Safety.  The team responds to insights from the initial article on An Innovative New Method for Measuring Safety. The response to the last article was tremendous—ranging from a request for training from The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, to an invitation to present at the Upper Manhattan Domestic Violence Coalition meeting. What we heard repeatedly from readers and colleagues is that: domestic violence safety planning… read more

Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter: An Innovative New Method for Measuring Safety

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
In this article, Freedom House team members explore methods for measuring safety. Individuals and families fleeing domestic violence can find safety and support at BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter—but their life-long journey to living a ‘safe’ life free of abuse only begins there. A key component of the overall healing experience at Freedom House involves comprehensive safety planning. Whether it’s developing a preparedness plan (always know where vital identification information and important phone numbers are); or building an inner knowledge… read more

Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Family Court: An Advocate’s Guide (Part 2)

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Disability News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
In part two of this article, BFL’s Secret Garden program, looks at ways advocates working with victims of interpersonal violence can maneuver the sometimes stressful family court system. As Discussed in part one of this article, going to Family Court can be part of the healing journey for victims of domestic violence, but court proceedings can also be very stressful. Victims of domestic violence who have a mental health diagnoses face even more hurdles when navigating this daunting system. Following are… read more

Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Family Court: An Advocate’s Guide (Part 1)

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
In part one of a two part article, Barrier Free Living's  Secret Garden domestic violence program looks at ways advocates working with victims of interpersonal violence can maneuver the sometimes stressful family court system. Going to Family Court can be part of the healing journey for victims of domestic violence. Orders of protection, child support, and custody are often part of the process of separating from an abusive partner. Final determination on these topics must often be resolved in… read more

Freedom House Shelter Works With Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Disability News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Blog contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW,  is a Senior Social Worker at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter. Sara is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House she worked with… read more

Student Tutors Work With Kids & Adults At BFL Apartments

January 26, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Student Tutors from Stuyvesant High School and Bronx Science High School are working with both children and adults this winter at Barrier Free Living apartments, a complex in the Bronx offering permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. The tutors meet weekly with elementary school kids, offering one on one work in areas like math and science. They also work with adults who are pursuing their high school equivalency… read more

The Unique Challenges Encountered By Deaf Survivors Of Domestic Violence

January 25, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Our blog contributor, Aida Colon, MSW, is a Social Worker at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter. She graduated from Lehman College with her Master of Social Work. Prior to Freedom House she worked with cancer patients and families with children at risk of foster placement. Kindness is a language which the Deaf can hear and the Blind can see. Mark Twain For many culturally competent advocates and service providers being kind is not… read more

Keys To Safety Planning At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter For People With Disabilities

January 23, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
As an Emergency Shelter for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, safety planning is a critical part of the mission of Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House. Safety planning can range from learning about internet related safety for a resident of the shelter, committing to living in a confidential domestic violence location, or following an existing safety protocol so that staff and residents alike remain safe and supported. During Hurricane Sandy, the Freedom House staff was prepared to go above and… read more