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 Team Member Part Of Text To 911 Accessible Service

June 3, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Nicolyn Plummer joined city officials and The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) in celebrating the launch of text to 911 (TT911) accessibility for d/Deaf blind and hard-of-hearing communities. "This is one of the biggest accomplishments that I advocated (for) to create opportunities for the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing community to have equal access to 911. I truly enjoyed working with the city officials and DoITT team," says Nicolyn. Text-to-911 is a… read more

Barrier Free Living Shelter Resident Featured In Vogue Magazine Story

May 5, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
A former resident of Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter is featured in a Vogue magazine article exploring the reality of living in shelter during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the article.  Take a virtual tour of Freedom House.… read more

Critical Donations Support Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Programs

April 15, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
An outpouring of donations  for Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs has brought support and hope to the staff, residents and tenants. Heejung of New York City (a seamstress) and Malou of California (photo above) created dozens of masks for front line staff at Barrier Free Living Apartments in the Bronx, while organizations like the Supportive Housing Network of New York donated critical supplies. Supporters like Hearts of Gold as… read more

National Network to End Domestic Violence, Safety Net Project Communication Platform Comparisons

April 2, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
National Network to End Domestic Violence, Safety Net Project Video Conferencing & Digital Communication Platforms: Comparison Chart Below we provide information about each vendor’s features, accessibility, cost, and privacy protections. Please note, we do not endorse any one of these products. We cannot recommend software products or say if a product is or isn’t compliant with the federal confidentiality laws. A summary list below of some main points: Zoom: Online video for one-to-one or groups. • Access: o… read more

Staying Safe During Uncertain Times: A Message For Survivors Of Domestic Violence

March 19, 2020 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assistant Program Director of Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden domestic violence program. She is the host of Sit Down With Sara.  The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 is increasing stress and anxiety for all of us. Unfortunately, for people who are experiencing domestic violence (and have a disability), this crisis can be especially dangerous. Shelters will remain open during this time, including Barrier Free Living's… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House: Domestic Violence Survivor Spotlight

January 14, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
"Working with Angela has given me a much greater awareness of the needs of a very under-served population.  Regardless of the roadblocks, she remains positive and optimistic, refusing to settle for anything less than her dreams." Larry Wilson (pictured above) MHC-LP, Social Worker, Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter. Barrier Free Living's team works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities at our three programs through the year. Angela, a resident… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden American Sign Language Film

December 3, 2019 BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden domestic violence program has filmed a video in American Sign Language to explain domestic violence and inform survivors with hearing loss how to seek assistance. Development of this video is an activity of BFL’s 2012 Office on Violence Against Women disability grant program award, which focuses on building capacity to serve Deaf and Hard of Hearing survivors… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Clothesline Project 2019

November 4, 2019 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living’s 2nd Annual Clothesline Project kicked off a rich roster of Domestic Violence Awareness month events, outreach and advocacy for our program teams (Freedom House, Secret Garden, BFL Apartments). View a short video from the Clothesline Project here.  The BFL Clothesline project* -- the brainchild of team member Irma Williams -- is our agency centerpiece, bringing together our supporters and the… read more

Emily’s Journey: Survivor Spotlight (Part 2)

October 15, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
This week, we feature part two of Barrier Free Living board member Emily’s inspiring story. After finding a safe space for healing at our Freedom House and Secret Garden programs, Emily began the next steps in her journey. Forgiveness & Healing The abuse that I survived was unbearable. I thought I’d never get out. Even after I began my true healing, I was still haunted by my abuser. I’d see him in my… read more

Emily: A Survivor’s Journey

October 10, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
The photo is from our Freedom House virtual tour film, and is representational only, per confidentiality. A survivor, a one-time resident of Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House and now a member of our Board of Directors, Emily shares her intense, inspiring journey, as part our domestic violence awareness month coverage. I grew up in an unhealthy environment. Never had “a good enough mother.” I was abused as a child in every form… read more

Victim To Victor: Author Interview

October 10, 2019 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Hoping to help break the cycle of violence and to provide a “voice for the voiceless” author Samantha Taylor shares her hopes and goals around her searing new book “Victim to Victor.”* When and why did you decide to write the book? ST: I decided to write Victim to Victor in 2017. I was encouraged to write a book after I explained the complications, mindsets, perspectives, misunderstandings, and parts of my experience as it… read more

Meditative Treatments For Domestic Violence Shelter Residents

October 8, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Research indicates a strong connection between mental and physical health for trauma survivors. This May, residents of Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter received free massages at the Reciprocity Foundation (view a virtual tour of Freedom House here). The organization provides free and low-cost wellness services to vulnerable New Yorkers. Reciprocity recently opened a new Wellspace in downtown Manhattan. Located in a nondescript office building, Reciprocity Wellspace features peaceful white… read more

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Supporter Spotlight: Spread The Sparkle!

October 8, 2019 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
It was five years ago that I first connected with Abbey Levine (at far left above).  We were dishing fashion and love at a Chelsea café when she revealed her new dream project: Spread the Sparkle. She wanted to redefine the concept of holiday celebration, for people that were searching for renewal and hope. She was looking for a non-profit to work with. A firm believer in kismet, I told Abbey about… read more

Substance Abuse & Domestic Violence

October 7, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assisstant Director of Social Services 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 youth in alternatives to detention and incarceration programs… read more

BFL Deaf Services Team Member Featured In City Limits Article

September 25, 2019 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Nicolyn Plummer is feature in an article (see below) about a lack of Sign Language Interpreters in City Courts in this week's Citylimits. New York State’s Uniformed Court System (UCS) employs more than 300 staff interpreters in more than 20 languages, in addition to hundreds of additional freelance interpreters who work in the system each year. But just a handful of the court’s staff interpreters work in American Sign Language (ASL)—in fact, just seven… read more

Deaf Hotline Launches Website Live Chat Feature

September 11, 2019 Advocacy, Disability News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
THE NATIONAL DEAF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE launched a new logo (pictured) and announced new services on its website including a live chat feature making it "more accessible by offering various options for survivors, friends and family members" to reach them. The Deaf Hotline has advocates available for crisis intervention, education, information and referrals for Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled Callers.… read more

Diana Turner: A Fierce Sense of Community At Barrier Free Living Apartments

August 5, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Growing up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1970s, Diana Turner (pictured above) most remembers the fierce sense of community. “I grew up across from Tompkins Square Park. Back then the neighborhood was called alphabet city,” says Diana, who joined the Barrier Free Living team this June (2019) as program director at our supportive housing program in the Bronx (BFL Apartments)*. “I saw the homeless problem. I also had a… read more

Life Saving Moment: CPR In Action at BFL Apartments

July 1, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living apartment team members Irma Williams, Director of Social Services, and Jeffrey Hampton, Resident Aide Manager, put their recent CPR* training to the test in an emergency situation this summer, saving the life of a resident at the supportive housing program. After a tenant reported an unresponsive family member in their home, Irma and Jeffrey  rushed to the scene, called 911 then checked the person's breathing.  Jeffrey, who had… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden Opens New Space, Unveils Historical Timeline

May 17, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's (BFL) Secret Garden domestic violence program welcomed staff and supporters to the grand opening of its new healing space this May. A historical timeline was unveiled (photo above) mapping the program's decades of providing services to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. "This is a great new home where we can focus on our comprehensive services. We welcome all agency staff to attend our regular workshops and trainings, or… read more

Barrier Free Living Presents: Exploring the Intersection of Domestic Violence, Disability & Trauma

May 13, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Cynthia Amodeo, Chief Program Officer at Barrier Free Living and Jules Perkel, Program Director at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden, will co-present this presentation at this year's conference.  According to the Office on Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, research suggests that women with disabilities are more likely to suffer domestic violence and sexual assault than women without disabilities, and women with disabilities report abuse that lasts longer… read more

BFL’s Freedom House Launches Art Therapy Group

May 13, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Making art with others is an expression of hope. (Bruce L. Moon, art therapist. Above, art created as part of BFL's Transitional Housing program art group circa 1990.) This spring, Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter launched a new art therapy group for residents (watch a virtual tour of Freedom House here). The group, created by a current MSW intern at Freedom House hopes to “offer a space for residents to express themselves in a playful… read more

Debt & Domestic Violence

May 10, 2019 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
April was recognized as Financial Literacy Month in the U.S. and there were a roster of events shining a spotlight on the importance of economic and financial education. Barrier Free Living’s programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House, BFL Apartments) offer a variety of financial literacy workshops and educational forums throughout the year for our tenants, residents and participants who are survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. Our Freedom House domestic violence shelter works with The… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House: Denise Survivor Spotlight  

April 2, 2019 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
An encounter with an occupational therapist during a hospital stay in 2017 was the first step in Denise’s journey to safety. “I was in the hospital for a multiple sclerosis flare up. I had a week before I had to go home. My living situation was toxic. Mental and psychological abuse,” says Denise. “I was scared and my blood pressure was going up. An occupational therapist asked me about my blood pressure and she ended up telling me she had been… read more

Staff Spotlight: Julissa Vasquez Freedom House Director of Social Services

March 21, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Julissa Vasquez joined Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter team this past year as Director of Social Services. Julissa has a Master's degree in Social Work from Hunter College and she’s been working in social services for the past decade. Currently, she is doing a research project for Stony Brook University about the intersection of domestic violence and disability.  Julissa takes a few moments to share her… read more

Butler Street Coop Donates Toys & Books To Barrier Free Living Learning Center

February 22, 2019 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
  The volunteer-led Butler Street Coop had to close its Brooklyn based playground/pre-school this winter, but the silver lining came in the form of donations to the new Learning Center for kids at Barrier Free Living apartments in the South Bronx. The Coop donated books, toys and musical instruments to the center. Barrier Free Living apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic… read more

Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Davis, Freedom House Social Worker

February 11, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
When Jennifer Davis took a leap to pursue social work in 2014, it was the voice of a Barrier Free Living resident that guided her. “My (graduate school) statement of purpose started with a quote from a resident at Barrier Free Living’s transitional housing program**,” says Jennifer. “Speedy (the resident) said to me that ‘sometimes the only reason I get out of bed in the morning is because I know Luca… read more

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February 8, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assisstant Director of Social Services 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… read more

V-Day February 14

February 7, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that occurs in February. Learn more about V-Day here.  V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery. Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers… read more

PopGym Self Defense Workshop At Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

November 16, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Working from a philosophy that takes both a physical and an emotional approach to self defense, PopGym held a workshop for the residents of Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter this October. (Take a short virtual tour of Freedom House here.) We caught up with PopGym team member Grey to find out a bit more about this innovative organization in New York City. BFL: How did you get… read more

Unique Issues Face By Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Survivors of Domestic Violence

November 8, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
This month's contributor,  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 to enhance accessibility in serving Deaf victims. Sexual assault victims who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing face unique issues compared to those who are hearing when it comes to reporting the assault. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reports that approximately one in five hearing women have been raped in their lifetime… read more