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.

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

Safety First: The Importance Of A Website’s Domestic Violence Related “Escape” Button

January 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living features a domestic violence related safety feature on our website. A purple “escape” button is located in the top right hand corner of every page of the site. The button conceals the fact that an individual is on a website offering services to domestic violence survivors. According to the team at our domestic violence counseling program, Secret Garden, the most dangerous time for a domestic violence survivor is when that individual attempts to leave the abusive relationship. The… read more

BFL’s Freedom House Reports On Traumatic Brain Injury As It Relates To Domestic Violence

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Traumatic Brain Injury and DV Freedom House looks at Traumatic Brain Injury as it relates to Domestic Violence. According to the Center for Disease Control a Traumatic Brain Injury is “a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” It is important as professionals working in the field of domestic violence (DV) that we understand Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as it relates to our work with survivors. Many domestic violence victims who… read more

Service Animals At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter For People With Disabilities

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. There is another type of… read more

A Look At Purposeful Parenting: BFL’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
July is National Purposeful Parenting month, which led to a flurry of articles, Facebook posts and Twitter bites regarding the concept. In general, Purposeful Parenting aims to build healthy relationships with children, to understand a child’s development and to help them grow in a way that emphasizes their potential. Being “purposeful” in parenting can include meeting a child’s essential needs (bathing, feeding) or involve more complicated issues of socialization, discipline, and communication. Purposeful Parenting concepts include: Structure and order Responsibility and… read more

Pet Therapy For People With Disabilities & Survivors Of Domestic Violence

January 12, 2018 Advocacy, BFL News, Current Events, Disability News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: , 2 Comments
Barrier Free Living welcomes Blog contributor Julia Alberino. Julia retired in 2011 after more than thirty years as a health care administrator in both the public and private sectors. She was a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and co-founder of an advocacy group that worked to maintain and improve services for Medicaid beneficiaries, including elderly and disabled individuals. I’ve always been a cat person. When I moved into my lower Manhattan apartment… read more

DYCD Sexual Assault Awareness Month Youth Art Project

January 10, 2018 Advocacy, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Uncategorized 0 Comments
A call for entries is out for a DYCD Sexual Assault Awareness Month Youth Art Project. The contest is open to any teens across NYC, regardless of whether they attend a DYCD-funded after-school program or not.  New this year, DYCD will release limited edition t-shirts in April featuring youth artwork in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Teens can submit original artwork by January 26 for a chance to… read more

The Uncomfortable Conversation

January 10, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The Uncomfortable Conversation grew out of the TEDx talk Sarah Beaulieu gave last year and long-time work with organizations supporting survivors of sexual violence. Since then, she's logged hundreds of hours talking to men and others and immersing herself in what makes sexual violence and harassment such a polarizing and uncomfortable topic. The most interesting discovery throughout this journey has been the realization that men and women alike have little idea how to talk about sexual… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence Program Offers Specialized Trauma Reprocessing Therapy

January 2, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Contributor Gabrielle is a Social Worker (LMSW) at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Non-Residential Domestic Violence Program. Gabrielle began her work at Secret Garden as a social work intern in 2014. After graduating with her Master’s Degree she joined the team. Gabrielle is currently enrolled in the Trauma Studies Program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and will soon be certified in the specialized therapy approach outlined in the article below.  It can be difficult… read more

Spread The Sparkle Hosts Event For Survivors Of Domestic Violence & Families

December 28, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
For the third year in a row, Spread the Sparkle hosted a spectacular holiday party for the residents and tenants of Barrier Free Living's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families. Dozens of kids received gifts from Santa and participated in games and activities, while adults enjoyed the photo booth and received gift bags.  Spread the Sparkle's team of volunteers provided a sumptuous buffet and entertainment… read more

Serving Male Domestic Violence Survivors In Shelter

December 28, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, LMSW, a Senior Social Worker at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter offers her insights on Freedom House's work with male domestic violence survivors. 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… read more

Chefs Serve Up Joy, Unity & A Great Banana Pudding At BFL Apartments

December 14, 2017 BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
A group of chefs brought food and joy to the tenants at Barrier Free Living (BFL) Apartments in the Bronx, NY last month. BFL Apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families, as well as to single adults. We caught up with Zack Pozzoboni, who organized the volunteer driven event, to find out what drew him to Barrier Free Living, and to ask… read more

Holiday Safety For Survivors of Domestic Violence With Disabilities

December 14, 2017 BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Holidays can traditionally be a time of family gatherings and celebrations. For individuals and families at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter who have left an abusive situation, maintaining safety during the holiday season is crucial. As an agency, Barrier Free Living provides counseling, case management, shelter and housing to people with disabilities, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless individuals. Freedom House is our emergency domestic violence… read more

Governor Cuomo Unveils First Proposal Of 2018 State Of The State: Remove Firearms From Domestic Abusers

December 14, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the first proposal of the 2018 State of the State: remove all firearms from those who commit domestic violence crimes. Given the inextricable link between domestic violence and lethal gun violence, this legislation will require all domestic violence crime convictions, including misdemeanors, to result in the immediate removal of all fire arms and will add measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those who commit domestic violence with the goal of preventing… read more

BFL Apartments Receives Community Capital Management Impact Award 2017

December 12, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Community Capital Management recently announced that Barrier Free Living Apartments is the winner of its first annual impact awards for 2017 and will receive a $10,000 donation. CCM’s “Impact Awards 2017” featured five impactful bond stories during the year with participants voting for their favorite over the last month. The contest recognizes fixed income impact investments and their multiple positive environmental and social outcomes. Barrier Free Living Apartments was designed and built for 50 families with a disabled… read more

People With Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ By Sarah Kim

December 8, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
People with Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ Barrier Free Living welcomes writer Sarah Kim who will be contributing articles about domestic violence and disabilities. Sarah Kim: formerly a writer at @dosomething | now: graduate student at Columbia Journalism School | social media: @sarahskkim… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden At Barrier Free Justice Conference

November 30, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden team members participated in this November's annual Barrier Free Justice Conference. The conference explored the intersection between disability and elder abuse, with a focus on victimization within the elderly population. Presenters and panelists discussed recognizing the signs of abuse, how to navigate and facilitate conversations about disabilities within the geriatric population, as well as the importance of caregiver support. Additionally, the conference explored the current misconceptions about elder abuse, what resources (social and legal) are currently in… read more

Toy Drive For BFL’s Freedom House Kids

November 27, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 2 Comments
The Church of the Holy Trinity is gathering toys and gifts for the kids at Barrier Free Living's (BFL) Freedom House emergency shelter in New York City again this year. The church has a sign up display (photo above, with the Rev. John Beddingfield) and is accepting donations this month. At its programs and shelters, BFL works with families and hundreds of children each year. Donations of toys and gifts from groups… read more

BFL Halloween Events

November 1, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living held Halloween themed events at its programs, drawing families, kids and staff in community building activities. At BFL Apartments, the tenant advisory group worked with the occupational therapy team to create a lively party space and spook house for dozens of kids living at the permanent housing complex in the Bronx. BFL works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families as well as homeless individuals with disabilities.… read more

Freedom House Bake Off

October 25, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 1 Comment
Barrier Free Living's Freedom House team held a bake-off as a community building way to honor October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Staff members from various departments donated a freshly baked pastry, which was judged by co-workers. There were seven "delicious" entries, but the Sweet Potato Pie baked by Ashlee from Occupational Therapy took top honors.… read more

Go Pink Day At BFL’s Freedom House Shelter

October 25, 2017 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
The front desk staff of Barrier Free Living's  Freedom House program hosted its second annual Go Pink Day on Friday October 20. Resident Aide Manager Linette Holmes shares that "This is the second year Freedom House is remembering all those that are survivors of Breast Cancer and those that have lost the fight." Freedom House staff wore pink to commemorate this special cause and a GO PINK TABLE was the focal point of the celebration… read more

Domestic Violence Project Reading Series

October 12, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The Domestic Violence project, an innovative public health initiative, presents a dramatic reading from Tennessee Williams' classic play A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Daphne Rubin Vega, Glenn Davis, and Marjolaine Goldsmith on Oct. 12, 7pm, Polo Grounds Police Athletic League Community Center at 3005 Frederick Douglas Blvd, NYC. The reading is a catalyst for a town hall discussion about the impact of domestic violence. Reserve seats for this free event at: streetcarplogrounds.evenbrite.com The reading is directed… read more

Barrier Free Living Begins Work On Updated Mission Film

October 3, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) has begun work on an updated version of its mission film, depicting the agency's growth and evolution since the original film debuted in 2012. The film, created in collaboration with DGNL , is a visual representation of the agency' s mission, vision and values. The new version will focus on the stories of the people that the agency works with in its programs, shelters… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden Wellness Group

September 25, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
This September, the occupational therapy team at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden held a "seeds of hope" creative therapy and wellness group. Attendees painted containers and potted seeds within them. These “seeds of hope” represent a source of inspiration. The members discussed ways in which they  can strive to grow alongside the plants they created, and how that relates to their aspirations for the future… read more