SHEEPSHEAD BAY — Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is looking to community residents to assist fellow neighbors in need. The Sheepshead Bay legislator’s district office, 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road, is currently holding dual collection drives of cell phones for victims of domestic violence as well as eyeglasses for the visually-impaired.
In an effort to protect domestic violence victims, Cymbrowitz, in conjunction with the Office of Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, is asking neighbors to donate their no-longer-used cell phones. They will be reprogrammed to dial 911 and then distributed to victims of domestic violence. As a member of the Assembly’s Codes Committee, Cymbrowitz points out that there are several vital pieces of legislation on the table to help prevent domestic violence; among them are proposals to further enhance penalties for people who commit violence against their own family members. Unfortunately recidivism rates for violence against loved ones tend to be occurring at higher rates.
“Legislation takes time to pass. Providing domestic violence victims with emergency cell phones provides security for them immediately,” Cymbrowitz said. “Although we are still a long way from eradicating domestic violence in our communities, we can move closer to our goal with each life saved through having access to a cell phone in an emergency situation.”
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) responded to 249,440 domestic violence incidents in 2010, averaging more than 680 incidents per day. In addition, the NYPD’s Domestic Violence Unit conducted 67,761 home visits in 2010 — a 77 percent increase since 2002.